Craft

The Inventor of the Cowboy Shirt

A few years ago, I found myself lost inside a shopping mall with the man who, in 1946, invented the snap-buttoned cowboy shirt. Jack A. Weil, better known as Jack A, was one hundred and one years old and he was not happy. He was, in fact, highly annoyed. We had wandered into the shirt [...]

The Most Successful Chair

The monobloc is not the first plastic chair in design history. This honor goes to Joe Colombo’s stacking chair Universale. First introduced in 1965, it was made of five injection-molded pieces and thus started a new way of mass production. The monobloc is not even the first one-piece plastic chair in design history. That’s Selene, [...]

Guns at MoMA

Listen here.

Earning its Stripes: The Hudson’s Bay Blanket

“Who watches the Olympics?!” Laurie muses in response to my comment that I suddenly find myself feeling emotionally attached to athletes I hadnʼt known existed mere days prior. It is mid-February and—though my friend suggested most New Yorkers remained oblivious—in my home country, Canadians are acutely aware that it is the middle of the XXI [...]

Thinking About Nothing Much

When an object is lost, a subject is found we learned from Freud over a century ago, but it is an observation that seems to have particular relevance today. Absence, as well as presence, I find myself thinking, figures increasingly into the experience of making things in the first decade of the 21st century.  Our [...]

American Apparel’s Innovation and Exploitaton

The majority of companies no longer equate the production of their products with the marketing of their ‘brand’. Since a company’s finances is divided between different processes such as production, development and marketing, marketing departments have begun to see their work as something that in direct competition with the production process. But American Apparel is [...]

Somebody Nailed My Dress to the Wall

On June 30, 2009, dance devotees from around the world mourned the untimely death of choreographer Pina Bausch. At 69 years of age and just four days after a diagnosis of cancer, she left behind a son, an acclaimed dance company, devoted fans, and a trove of masterpieces that changed the course of dance and [...]

Celebrating Design

September is the best time to visit Calcutta, the capital city of West Bengal, India. In the gentle autumn weather the Bengalis celebrate a ten day festival in honour of their favourite diety: the ten-armed Mother Goddess Durga.  There is private worship in every home, but each neighbourhood organizes public worship at a stall, or [...]

The Schwinn Sting-Ray, The world’s first mass produced Chopper Bike

The Schwinn Sting-Ray is the Chopper Bike archetype. It is a Chopper Bike in its purist form, and is the first of its kind. It is the earliest known example of a commercially produced Chopper Bike, hitting the market in 1963, and is the most widely recognized brand even today, decades after its heyday. Like [...]

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