Big Jambox

Jawbone introduces a big brother to their family of intelligent speakers

Just released as a follow-up to the diminuitive Jambox speaker, Jawbone presents Big Jambox, a scaled-up version of the wireless speaker setup. In part a nod to the boombox speakers that gained popularity in the ’70s, the device delivers full sound in a portable package. The speaker pairs automatically with any bluetooth-enabled device, pumping out beats without the need for any additional cordage.


The design language of Big Jambox is drawn from the original version by Yves Behar, marked by a solid perforated steel grill around the body and high grade rubber on the ends and feet. A few simple controls allow you to pause, skip and adjust volume, though most commands come externally. A clutch feature for any mobile device, a single charge of the lithium-ion battery provides a staggering 15 hours of continuous playback.


While music may be the most apparent use for Big Jambox, the speaker also includes an echo-canceling microphone that can be utilized as a speakerphone through mobile phone calls as well as video conferencing clients like Skype, FaceTime and GoogleTalk. Jawbone is able to connect to two devices at once, and will remember the profiles of up to eight different devices.

Thumbnail image for Big-Jambox-3b.jpg

Big Jambox is being offered in “Red Dot”, “White Wave” and “Graphite Hex”—each colorway featuring a different embossed pattern. The speaker’s “Live Audio” feature takes advantage of binaural audio to create a 3D listening experience. The heft and solidity of Jambox reduces rattle and vibrations even when blasting at full volume, and a set of precision-tuned drivers and opposing dual passive bass radiators help to deliver fuller sound.

Big Jambox is available for $299 from the Jawbone online store.

Images by James Thorne

Calla Table

The table portraits the stylized shape of the Calla flower. It is made of a dominating elliptic surface that can slide inside the table base made of c..

Brooklyn Nets logo

The Nets have unveiled the logo that will follow them to BK. Simplistic in both design and color – utilizing a black and white scheme paired with drawn basketball and team name – the logo has an old-school ABA vibe to it.

Salone Milan 2012: PINWU Studio, From Yuhang to Milan at Salone Satellite


When people talk about design in China, it is rarely mentioned with craft and innovation in the same breath. As we saw in the presentations in Milan, young designers in China are now sifting through the long history of specialty production and craft culture and staking a claim to change the conversation.

PINWU Studio was founded in 2008 by Domus Academy graduate ZhangLei to create products that marry traditional Chinese craft culture with a contemporary design aesthetic in what he terms, “Future Tradition.” Upon meeting Christoph John (German-born and a fellow Domus graduate) and Jovana Bogdanovic (Serbian-born product designer) three years ago in Milan, the three found a kinship in their perspective on design and soon John and Bogdanovic moved to China to join Zhang at PINWU Studio.

This year’s presentation From Yuhang, is the fruit of a two year dialogue and research intensive project; the three young designers traveled across the ancient Chinese district of Yuhang (located in Zhejiang Province not far outside Hangzhou) to explore local materials and seek out knowledgable craftspeople. “483 days, 17 traditional materials, 12 ancient villages, 10 designs, 8 craftsmen, 1 design team,” explains the designers. From Yuhang includes 10 designs that exemplify their experiments with local materials including Yuhang Bamboo, Water Silk Floss, Porcelein and Bamboo Paper.

pinwu_bambooumbrella.pngBamboo Paper Umbrella craftsmen in Yuhang


Villa Roces by Govaert & Vanhoutte

Villa Roces by Govaert & Vanhoutte

This glass house by Belgian architects Govaert & Vanhoutte has a 50-metre-long wall at the back and a sunken swimming pool at the front.

Villa Roces by Govaert & Vanhoutte

Located in one of the forests surrounding Bruges, the house is long and narrow and contains staggered storeys that descend below the ground.

Villa Roces by Govaert & Vanhoutte

The swimming pool is located at the lowest level and is tucked into a recessed corner of the building.

Villa Roces by Govaert & Vanhoutte

Doors leading into the house are as high as the walls and are difficult to spot when closed.

Villa Roces by Govaert & Vanhoutte

Inside, a long ramp slopes up from the main living and dining room towards children’s bedrooms that are half a storey above, while cantilevered stairs lead down into a second living room and master bedroom.

Villa Roces by Govaert & Vanhoutte

Another ramp outside the building provides access to a car park below.

Villa Roces by Govaert & Vanhoutte

We’ve featured a few houses in the past that are almost entirely glazed. See one in Germany here and one in Sweden here.

Villa Roces by Govaert & Vanhoutte

Photography is by Tim Van de Velde.

Villa Roces by Govaert & Vanhoutte

Here’s a little more information from Govaert & Vanhoutte:

Villa Roces

Villa Roces is integrated in an oblong terrain of about 70m long and 30m wide, situated in the forest surroundings of Bruges.

Villa Roces by Govaert & Vanhoutte

The concept consists of a 50 m long and a 4.20 m high wooden wall flanking 6 m wide glass box is disposed.

Villa Roces by Govaert & Vanhoutte

The house is built along a wall with the intention to meet the lack of light and reflect the presence of the forest, the verticality of the trees, etc.

Villa Roces by Govaert & Vanhoutte

The 54m long wall functions as a background for the transparant volume in front.

Villa Roces by Govaert & Vanhoutte

The wall is not only visible at the outside, but also continuously visible at the inside.

Villa Roces by Govaert & Vanhoutte

As the transparent volume is conceived as a box, the inside space is filled in with clearly defined boxes and volumes and incorporate the structural elements.

Villa Roces by Govaert & Vanhoutte

The glass box is indented at three sides:

  • One to give access to the underground parking place
  • One to develop the half underground swimming pool
  • And one to give access, at the backside of the house, to the master bedroom and annex bathroom
Villa Roces by Govaert & Vanhoutte

The plan concept is very simple:

1. On the level of the garden there is the income, kitchen, dining room and fireplace situated. The kitchen can be separated from dining room with a big sliding door.

Villa Roces by Govaert & Vanhoutte

2. The bedroom section of the children and the master bedroom are situated one above the other and put in split-level with the living room which has one and a half height

Villa Roces by Govaert & Vanhoutte

3. In front of the master bedroom we have a secondary sitting room which spatial makes the conversion to the handled levels.

Villa Roces by Govaert & Vanhoutte

4. A slope guarantuees the connection between the living room and the bedroom section of the children.

Villa Roces by Govaert & Vanhoutte

5. By handling the explained levels and heights we could maintain a continuously horizontal box which was of main importance to be put in contrast to the verticality of the trees.

Villa Roces by Govaert & Vanhoutte

6. Under the living room and kitchen is the underground parking situated. To put this underground was also of main importance in order to reduce the build volume above the ground level, this in relation to the disposable space and give the house the visual impression of a big pavilion.

Villa Roces by Govaert & Vanhoutte

Competition: five copies of Chase for Space to be won

Competition five copies of Chase For Space to be won

Competition: we’ve teamed up with Slovenian architect Nejc Trost to offer readers the chance to win one of five copies of Chase for Space, his new book about architecture and space travel.

Competition five copies of Chase For Space to be won

Chase for Space: an architecture challenge for the future explores the future commercialisation of space and how architecture can provide civilians’ access to space.

Competition five copies of Chase For Space to be won

Trost has worked in the field of aerospace, art and technology, and the book includes contributors from different disciplines.

Competition five copies of Chase For Space to be won

To enter this competition email your name, age, gender, occupation, and delivery address and telephone number to with “Chase For Space” in the subject line. We won’t pass your information on to anyone else; we just want to know a little about our readers.

Read our privacy policy here.

Competition five copies of Chase For Space to be won

Competition closes 22 May 2012. Five winners will be selected at random and notified by email. Winners’ names will be published in a future edition of our Dezeenmail newsletter and at the top of this page. Dezeen competitions are international and entries are accepted from readers in any country.

Competition five copies of Chase For Space to be won

Subscribe to our newsletter, get our RSS feed or follow us on Twitter for details of future competitions.

Competition five copies of Chase For Space to be won

Here’s some more information from the publishers:

Chase for Space: an architecture challenge for the future is a transdisciplinary book with wide overview of future space commercialization and its impact on architecture discipline. It helps to understand what kind of designs, what kind of architecture and what kind of practice needs to be envisaged in order to enable civilians’ access to space. With contributors from different disciplines and their relations to space creation this piece of work tries to become an inspiration tool for future generations.

Competition five copies of Chase For Space to be won

Olga Bannova, MS-Space Architecture, Research Associate Professor, SICSA:

Although there are many examples of literature about the history of human space exploration, the “Chase for Space” book stands alone giving a reader a chance to look at our space exploration journey from a different angle of emerging new private enterprise possibilities. The book can definitely be a helpful reference book for one who is interested in investigating space exploration and current commercial space enterprises.

Andreas Vogler, MSc ETH Arch, Director, Architecture and Vision:

Trošt lets us be part of these views in his beautifully laid out book, where many full double page pictures and interviews with some of the pioneers of private spaceflight like Burt Rutan give us the sensation of standing right at the horizon of this new age of space flight. A challenge, not only for architects.

Competition five copies of Chase For Space to be won


Brief overview of space & aviation, Space architecture pioneer Herman Potocnik Noordung, Architecture and flight – from vision to archetype, Zero gravity art projects, Spaceport architecture and concepts.

Mojave Air and Spaceport, Spaceport America, Curacao spaceport, Spaceport Sweden, etc…), Interviews with Burt Rutan, Brian Binnie & Yuri Ivanovich Malenchenko, Private space companies (Virgin Galactic, XCOR Aerospace, Space X, Blue Origin, Copenhagen Suborbitals, Talis Enterprise, SpaceDev Dream Chaser, Bigelow Aerospace, Galactic Suite, Orbital Technologies, Skylon Spacecraft…

Competition five copies of Chase For Space to be won

Written by Nejc Trošt
Prologue by Peter Gabrijelčič
Foreword by John Zukowsky
Contributions by Špela Hudnik, Jan Trošt & Marko Peljhan
Interviews with Burt Rutan, Brian Binnie & Yuri Ivanovich Malenchenko
Reviewers: Olga Bannova & Andreas Vogler
Publisher: Faculty of Architecture, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Language: English
Hardcover: 180 pages, 125 images
Design: Janja Gomezel & Nejc Trošt
Book photos: Miha Bratina
Size: 32.2 x 21.5 x 1.8 cm / 12.6 x 8.3 x 0.4 in
Shipping Weight: 1.2 kg / 2.4 lbs
ISBN: 987-961-6823-14-2
The book can be ordered from the website ( where selected pages can be seen by clicking on the “sneak preview of the book” link in the top section.

Gifts for Mom

Eight ways to show your appreciation this Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is just around the corner in the US, and while everyone’s relationship with their mom is completely unique, here are a handful of ideas culled from our Cool Hunting Gift Guide that are sure to brighten up any mother’s day, any time of year.

mothersday2012-gift1.jpg mothersday2012-gift2.jpg
Women Are Heroes

What is a woman’s worth? That was the question in street artist JR’s mind as he photographed women struggling in Sierra Leone, Sudan, Kenya, Brazil, India and Liberia, and then pasted murals of their images on buildings, trains and bridges in their own communities—a project that warranted him the 2011 TED prize. Inspire mom with this touching tome ($40).

Double Layer Skin Wrap

If Goldilocks were to pick a robe, Skin’s Double Layer Wrap ($168) would be it. The weight and softness of the Peruvian Pima cotton make this just right for mom to relax in. What’s more, CH readers can get $50 off a Skin robe just by entering LUVMUM at checkout.

mothersday2012-gift4.jpg mothersday2012-gift9.jpg

Sure to put a little sparkle in the life of someone special, Ankasa’s pyrite stone ($365) is perfect for the mother who appreciates texture and form—or simply the mom who already has everything.

Totto Vase

Bring a little nature inside with this sweet bird-inspired bud vase. Made from porcelain, its design is inspired by a 1960s toothpick holder created by famed Japanese ceramic designer Masahiro Mori.

mothersday2012-gift5.jpg mothersday2012-gift6.jpg
Hay & Scholten & Baijings’ Tea Towels

Make the functional fashionable in the kitchen with a little help from design studio Scholten & Baijings. Created by Stefan Scholten and Carole Baijings for Hay Denmark, these cotton mix tea towels ($32) feature their signature grid patterns, layering and neon streak.

Fingerprint Bookmarks

Help mom keep track of the very last word she’s read with a practical Fingerprint Bookmark ($9). Sold in a range of colors and easily fitting around any book, they make a great solution for bookworms and travelers alike.

mothersday2012-gift7.jpg mothersday2012-gift8.jpg
Dovo Manicure Set

Established in 1906, Germany’s Dovo pride themselves on creating quality steel products that are built to last. Comprised of nail scissors, clippers, a cuticle pusher, tweezers and a file—all made with forged, nickel-galvanized steel—this leather-bound manicure set ($125) seeks to uphold this reputation.

Big City Sneaker

Looking good doesn’t always feel good. Give your favorite woman a break from heels with the clever Big City Sneakers ($128), guaranteed to inject any outfit with a heavy dose stylish comfort.

See these items and several more in our Mother’s Day Gift Guide.

Case Study: Icebreaker Merino – Reinventing Wool as a Performance Fiber, by Rob Achten


Launched in 1994, Icebreaker was the first company in the world to develop a merino wool layering system for the outdoors. It was also the first outdoor apparel company in the world to source merino directly from growers, a system it began in 1997. Icebreaker merino clothing for the outdoors, technical sports and lifestyle includes underwear, mid layer garments, outerwear, socks and accessories for men, women and children. Icebreaker is based in Wellington, New Zealand, and is sold in more than 3000 stores in 43 countries.

You have to be tough to survive in New Zealand’s Southern Alps. With scorching summers and freezing winters, the glacier-carved mountain range is a harsh, inaccessible environment—and possibly the last place you’d expect to find a sheep.

But the sheep that survive on the Southern Alps aren’t run-of-the mill lowland sheep. They’re merino sheep: hardy alpine animals with a coat that insulated in summer, breathes in summer, and is exceptionally soft and lightweight.


In 1994, Icebreaker‘s founder, Jeremy Moon was given a prototype t-shirt made from merino wool. It was soft, sensual and lustrous—nothing like the itchy, scratchy wool he’d grown up with. It was also machine washable, easy care and naturally resistant to odor.

The discovery inspired Jeremy to create an entirely new category around this new product: merino outdoor apparel. Icebreaker merino garments and accessories for the outdoors, technical sports and lifestyle are now sold in more than 3000 stores in 43 countries.

From Microns to Marathons

My introduction to the brand came in 1994, when Jeremy sponsored my adventure racing team. To be honest, I was skeptical—the stuff he gave us looked far too nice to race in.

After a couple of days of non-stop running, cycling and hiking, the river started rising. People were being rescued by helicopter. My team was the first out, and when we crossed the river there were TV crews waiting to interview us.

By the time I got to the transition point, I was so cold in my polypropylene layers that I was on the verge of hypothermia. I had my doubts about Icebreaker merino, but they were my only dry clothes so I decided to give them a try.


What immediately struck me was the warmth. Icebreaker merino is warm when wet, so I stayed warm even though the rain was still falling.

Adventure races are all about survival—you have to stay warm, keep your nutrition up, and protect your feet from blisters. After that, it’s a mental game. I told everyone in my team how warm I was, so by the time the race ended two days later all of us were wearing our Icebreaker layers. We’d been converted.


Creating a New Icebreaker

Before we can even start designing a new garment, we think about the person who is going to use it. We think about think about whether the garment will be a base layer, a mid layer or an outer layer, and what activity it’s going to be used for. This exploration helps us formulate the necessary properties for the yarn, the fabric and, finally, the garment itself.

We write a brief with specifications for the type of yarn we’ll need, and that influences our sourcing. Merino fibers are ultra fine—much finer than the fibers of traditional wool—which is why our merino is so soft and non-itch. It’s very lightweight and feels more like silk against the skin than wool.

Merino fibers usually range from 13–25 microns, which is about one-third the thickness of a human hair. The smaller the micron, the finer the wool (in comparison, wool fibers from traditional lowland sheep are usually 35–45 microns).


Once we’ve decided on the type of yarn, we brief on what sort of fabric we need to construct. For example, it could be a lightweight garment made of eyelet fabric for running, or one of our Realfleece brushed fleece mid layers for wearing outdoors in cold weather.

Finally, we do a briefing on the garment itself. This is when we talk about potential enhancements to the garment, such as increased freedom of motion or laminations to make a garment windproof and rainproof. We’ll think about what season it’s likely to be worn in.

Icebreaker is a layering system, so we’ll ask ourselves how every new garment will work when it’s worn with other Icebreaker layers.



Lee Broom’s Public House

The English designer brings a proper British pub to Milan


Lee Broom‘s name features consistently on the lips of those-in-the-know at London’s Design Festival. This year, the young designer, who we covered in 2010, took his solo show to Milan and created his own corner of English charm in which to show his new work plus a little of the old.

Of course, being a Cockney, Broom dismantled an old London pub and ambitiously recreated it in Lambrate’s rapidly rising design zone. According to the designer; “The project was a bit of a big one involving a vast quantity of shipping crates,” in comparison to simply bringing a few pieces along to show standalone. Plus it was the first time the Milanese design crowds had been exposed (as they might put it) to a proper ‘boozer’ and perhaps one which might be called the first real proper design pub!


Yet the strife in dismantling and assembling such a gargantuan installation paid off spectacularly. The Pub drew together Broom’s distinctly English inspirations and formed a seamless link between the designer, his aesthetic viewpoint, his inspirations and the outcome of his work be it under his own name, or collaborating with others.

The Heritage Boy work from 2009 and its overtones of London’s classic iconography and English craft attributes was placed in context, with the (still very fresh) middling blue tones counteracting with the deep mahoganies of the pub’s reclaimed wood panelling. The panelling itself, with its gentle marquetry, also gave a nice compliment to the cut glass lights of the 2011 One Light Only project, which saw Broom investigate the classic style of Art Deco jewelry. While the space was lit with Broom’s new lighting.


This year, Broom explored further the notion of English craft and the glowing embers of tradition, utilizing cut glass techniques to create his Cut Crystal Bulbs—a simple revisit to the old, banned, tungsten lightbulb in a naked, unclad format. Dangling from a braided gold cord and gold housing, the cut glass pattern diffuses light around a space spreading a classy haven of joy; a group of the fixtures is enough to make one’s heart race.


While we were there, Broom showed us a continuation of the cut glass influence and a project completed with Ballantine whisky. The project was to give Broom free reign to translate the classic decanter into something more modern which was still imbued by the brand’s heritage. “It was a nice project, that let me kind of close the circle on the cut glass work. I’ve done the lights now, which remove the technique from where you’d normally see if and then bought it back to its beginnings with this decanter set,” explains Broom, who has worked with the company before to create a special bar stool for its 12 year old line. ” Obviously we’re used to drinking from the cut-style tumbler but this time we’re mixing, sealing and chilling the liquor in beautiful cut glass units which combine together to form one piece,” he continues.


Broom’s intention is that the base acts as the glass to seal in flavors and aroma, the middle also acts as a glass or cube/stone holder while the top can be used for water or other carriers to enhance flavor.


While most other designers descended on the horrendously overrated Bar Basso, Lee Broom did the British thing, holding fort and standing as cultural bastion of the empire in his own pub. Ma’am would be pleased on all counts.

New Photoshop CS6 "Content-Aware" Feature Will Destroy My Billable Hours


Last month I did a rendering gig for a client that involved blending their design with elements from photos of a competitor’s design and dropping the whole thing into a photorealistic environment. Pretty standard stuff, and I always use Photoshop for these types of jobs. Depending on the objects’ complexity, the requested environment and the clients’ mood, these gigs range in length from the better part of an afternoon to several days, which all adds up to billable hours and me keeping the lights on over here.

I’ve just discovered Adobe’s new Photoshop CS6 has new “content-aware” move and patch tools that are going to greatly reduce the time needed for those types of jobs. Here’s how they work:

More on the content-aware move and extend tools after the click…