Tommy Carlsson’s Happycheap

Category: Architecture

If you strive towards some form of happiness in your life and love a good bargain, then Happycheap sounds like a perfect fusion of these two objectives. Happycheap is a recent enterprise by Swedish architect Tommy Carlsson. A quick search on Carlsson does not reveal too much about the architect, apart from a couple of websites—all in Swedish. I am sure that his name will be wider known soon enough, as more people find out about, and hop on board with, the Happycheap scheme. The idea emerged from the realisation that the only quality, beautifully designed homes in Sweden (and elsewhere, I imagine) fall into the unattainably expensive category for the average folk. Cheaper housing is seldom architecturally designed or aesthetically pleasing. Carlsson aims to fill this gap in providing well-built, beautiful homes that are affordable, making an impression in cookie-cutter suburbia.

The Stockholm house, situated by the Swedish seaside, is the first iteration of the Happycheap home. The house looks plain and unassuming from the outside, with its corrugated metal exterior and simple angular form. Inside, it is surprisingly spacious and light. The interior is out-clad almost entirely in thrifty plywood. It’s not a material I am accustomed to seeing floor-to-ceiling, but in conjunction with white walls, grey kitchen and splashes of blue throughout the home it looks homely and warm. The blue-stained plywood ceiling in the study is a fun touch. A staircase in the middle of the building leads to the second story, with open-plan living on both levels.

The Happycheap website offers a choice of three different house plans, of which this is the largest, at 110 square meters. A detailed breakdown of materials and costs for each option follows, it’s good to see this level of transparency. I’d happily settle in one of these abodes! Check out his website for more details, though you’d better speak Swedish or have Google Translate on hand.

Anna Tokareva

Photography: Michael Perlmutter (7&11) and Andy Liffner (2—6, 8—10)

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NewSchool of Architecture + Design

San Diego, California
http://www.newschoolarch.edu/

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Bachelor of Science in Construction Management
Master of Construction Management
Bachelor of Architecture
Bachelor of Arts in Architecture
Master of Architecture
Master of Science in Architecture
Master of Landscape Architecture
Masters in Interior and Living Design

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Domus Academy

Design and Fashion School in Milan, Italy
http://www.domusacademy.com/

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Masters in Interior and Living Design
Masters in Urban Vision and Architectural Design

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BACK by Anne-Sofie Back

Category: Fashion Design

Back by Swedish designer Ann-Sofie Back is a clothing label that I have only just discovered and I am mighty exited about it. This particular collection (Spring/Summer 2014) has been around for some time now, but I just love it too much not to share it! Back, the designer’s diffusion line, was formed in 2005 and has since become one of the most subversive and exciting labels to come out of Sweden. Taking cue from her atelier mainline collections, Back picks elements to further develop, elaborate or rework into the more fun, ready wear line.

It’s hard to find street-wear done well and at the affordable end of the scale. Back delivers on both accounts. Classic basics—the shirt, the leather jacket, the denim skirt, the relaxed tee, the sweatshirt—are deconstructed here, exaggerated there. Skirts and dresses that look like casually gathered sheets add rebellious air to the collection, while managing to retain the elegance of Grecian drapery. Gathered leather, elements of shiny plastic, wide elastic bands reiterating the brand-name, along with frivolously placed sweeps of tulle, combine a bout of 90s nostalgia with post-internet aesthetics. There is something here for the less adventurous too. Perfect sweats, structured denim, crisp shirts and clean-cut t-shirts complete the collection. These simpler garments complement the statement pieces with understated chic. I am particularly fond of the sweatshirts and skirts that look as though they’ve been folded over and stuck down by strips of tape.

If some stylistic elements seem familiar, maybe it’s because Ann-Sofie Back has also worked for Acne Studios and currently spends half of her time as creative director for Cheap Monday. Basically, Back has the Swedish fashion industry sorted! Check out some shots of Black’s Autumn/Winter 2014 here and you can snap up what’s left of the S/S 2014 collection here.

Anna Tokareva

Photographs: Stockholm Fashion Week

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NABA Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti

Milan, Italy
http://www.naba.it/

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Masters of Art in Fashion and Textile Design

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Domus Academy

Design and Fashion School in Milan, Italy
http://www.domusacademy.com/

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Masters in Fashion Design
Masters in Fashion Management
Masters in Fashion Styling and Visual Merchandising

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Something Good

Category: Design, Industrial design

Something Good is a young brand and, in their own words, “a production and planning platform that brings together different partnerships, creative experiences and new networks”. Currently, Something Good exists primarily as an online store, connecting customers with the artisans behind the objects on offer in the most direct way possible.

The designers and founders of the initiative form an exciting pool of talent. They are: Enrica Cavarzan and Marco Zavagno of Zaven, Matteo Zorzenoni and Giorgio Biscaro. Together, they have created a slick collection of objects for the home. From the dining table, to the work desk, there is something to choose from to add some beauty to your environment. We are offered a limited edition of objects, reflecting the group’s commitment to craft and to adhering to the artesian pace of making, rather than mass production. The emphasis here is on quality, sophisticated design and a considered, respectful approach to the manufacturing process.

Though created by a group of different designers, the collection looks cohesive and well planned. Sleek curves, bright ceramics, glass and polished metals dominate, with most objects being vessels of some kind. I am a fan of the Zebra Grey, a letter holder that is functional, and yet, looks stunning emptied of its intended contents. The simple, but infinitely useful Split S and Split M act as receptacle for any odd bits you might have lying around the house, and they look mighty good doing it. Another piece I love is the Tournée Aqua mirror. The smooth, matte ceramic spinning-top shaped shell complements the mirror with a quiet elegance—a beautiful object. You can find more gorgeous things here, and find out more about Something Good’s ethos here.

Anna Tokareva

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NABA Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti

Milan, Italy
http://www.naba.it/

Relevant Courses:

Bachelor of Art in Design
Masters of Art in Design

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Domus Academy

Design and Fashion School in Milan, Italy
http://www.domusacademy.com/

Relevant Courses:

Masters in Business Design
Masters in Interior and Living Design

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Spotti installation by Studiopepe

Category: Interior Design

Studiopepe is a design studio based in Milan. Since their inception in 2006, the co-founders Arianna Lelli Mami and Chiara Di Pinto have been busy with retail interior projects, window display styling, art direction for catalogues, consulting and a spot of product design of their own. The pair has developed an ongoing relationship with Milanese furniture store Spotti and has been invited to curate two exhibitions of the shop’s excellent collection of design objects each year. The current exhibit, Summer Tales, is a fresh and breezy arrangement of tropical colours, wooden furniture and contrasting textures.

In Studiopepe’s signature style, Summer Tales skilfully blends modernist classics with contemporary design, opting for a well-balanced colour palate with punches of yellow and lime green. Palm fronds grace the walls in the guise of wallpaper, while cuttings, potted palm trees and birds of paradise enliven the space. I love the the conversation between the two-dimensions and the three-dimensions, the natural and the human-made replica.

Soft curves dominate in the seating and furnishings, set off by the clean rectangular tables and grid-like bookshelves. Natural, textured textiles sit side-by-side with cool marble and polished glass, luxurious leather and touches of brass. Studiopepe has an exceptional talent for creating interiors that are meticulously thought-out, and yet feel completely liveableand cosy. It must help to have Spotti’s great selection of objets to play with. Have a look through more of their work here, so many dream homes to behold!

Anna Tokareva

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Study options

NABA Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti

Milan, Italy
http://www.naba.it/

Relevant Courses:

Bachelor of Art in Design

Get in touch now:

 

Domus Academy

Design and Fashion School in Milan, Italy
http://www.domusacademy.com/

Relevant Courses:

Bachelor of Art in Design

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NewSchool of Architecture + Design

San Diego, California
http://www.newschoolarch.edu/

Relevant Courses:

Masters in Interior and Living Design

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STAR/DUST—NABA’s Fashion Graduate Show

Category: Fashion Design

Liquid Mezzanine (Sofia Arango and Alice Maiolini)


Tough Talking (Laura La Marca, Elena Turchi, Camilla Locatelli, Federica Roncan, Giulia Bacco)


Palomar (Benedetta Giorcelli and Giulia Curti)


Wrapped (Elisabetta Menegon and Carlotta Colombo)


Paracelso (Ornella Sofia Raineri and Stefania Laurenziello)

STAR/DUST is the name, and overarching theme, of NABA’s final show for graduates from the Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Design. It’s a huge event, with over 100 students completing their studies. The show took place on 10th July, and I have finally had a good look through the lengthy list of talent on display. Over 90 outfits were exhibited, with over 20 taking to the catwalk. This year a group of students from Tsinghua University, with whom NABA has worked with for years, took part in the show.

Students collaborated on collections in response to the 2014 theme STAR/DUST in different ways—some very literal, others drawing more tenuous connections to the words. Here is a small selection of favourites that have caught my eye.

Liquid Mezzanine’s beautifully tailored pieces are just asking to hop into my wardrobe. The perfect white shirt, the classic black blazer complete with a double collar, but disrupted by ruptures at the seams in the back and around the elbows. The collection oozes confidence and, at the same time, shows it’s vulnerable side, and indeed, it is inspired by our shifting identities, understanding and tastes as we move through life.

Tough Talking has some nice pieces influenced by street-wear and street art. They manage to maintain an elegance, while utilizing sporty materials that allow for speedy, agile movements around the urban playground. Palomar is all about detail, soft felted wool and ethereal swathes of silky organza. I love the woven coat sleeves and the sheer shirt-dress that veils waterfalls of delicate thread behind a loose outer shell. Gorgeous craftsmanship! Wrapped is another collection that demonstrates impeccable attention to detail. Inspired by artist Makoto Kobayashi, it pairs beautifully structured garments in heavy fabrics with looser, more fluid pieces. The contrasts between smooth satin and wool make for a deliciously sensuous collection. Who wouldn’t love to be wrapped up in that cocoon coat?

I also enjoyed Paracelso, a playful collection inspired by the colourful strips of paper used for transmitting prayers and wishes during the Japanese Tanabata festival. The collection sports glitchy prints, colourful weaving with volumous pieces. I think the supporting identity, collateral, photoshoot and video have come together really successfully and you can see it all together here.

You can find more images of these collections, and others, on NABA’s STAR/DUST website.

Anna Tokareva

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Study options

NABA Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti

Milan, Italy
http://www.naba.it/

Relevant Courses:

Bachelor of Art in Fashion Design
Masters of Art in Fashion and Textile Design

Get in touch now: