As regular readers will be well aware, here at smow blog HQ we’re very much of the opinion that fashion isn’t design. Never was. Never will be. Design, and without wanting to wade too deep into the definition quagmire, arose from applied craft/applied art, fashion is applied craft/applied art. And so while unquestionably a creative discipline, isn’t design. Neither is Graphic.

Design can however inspire and influence fashion, past decades recalling numerous occasions of fashion houses being motivated by designers’ works, a particularly apposite recent example being the news that Swiss fashion house Akris have based their Spring/Summer 2018 collection on the works of Alexander Girard, news which motivated us to retrieve a few classic items from the smow blog wardrobe……

With their 1997 exhibition The Work of Charles and Ray Eames the Vitra Design Museum staged one of the first major Charles and Ray Eames retrospectives

Twenty years later they return to two of the 20th century’s most important creatives with An Eames Celebration: less of Charles and Ray, and more of the diversity, depth and continuing relevance of their work.

Charles & Ray Eames. The Power of Design, Vitra Design Museum

Having grown up near Quimper, Brittany, Ronan Bouroullec moved to Paris in 1989 to study industrial design; since when the French capital has not only witnessed him complete his studies, but establish a studio, achieve his first commercial success and together with his brother Erwan develop projects for a roster of international clients including, and amongst many others, Vitra, Magis, Flos, Kvadrat and Samsung, in addition to realising numerous collaborations with Galerie kreo.

We met up with Ronan Bouroullec to discuss Paris, his experiences in, and relationship with the city, but somehow the conversation kept drifting outwith the city limits…..

Erwan & Ronan Bouroullec in their atelier in Paris Belleville (Photo courtesy Studio Bouroullec)

The September architecture and design exhibition recommendations are arguably the cruellest to write: the fact that the majority of the exhibitions end in the depths of the European winter meaning that as we sit here hoping that summer keeps going just a little, little, longer…. we’re forced to think about winter jackets and gloves.

And so before things get that far, best get out there and visit an exhibition!! Our five recommendations for September 2017 feature new exhibitions in Weil am Rhein, Los Angeles, Utrecht, Frankfurt and Malmö…….

smow blog 5 New Design Exhibitions for September 2017

Much as we moan, moan, and moan about Milan Furniture Fair, it is a rare opportunity to get a snapshot of where individual designers are currently at: differing products for differing manufacturers being displayed in relatively proximity allowing for a nice overview. A few considerations on the latest projects by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec for Vitra, Magis, Flos and Mattiazzi.

Verticale by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec for Flos, as seen at Milan Furniture Fair 2017

Pip by Daniel Kern for Richard Lampert, as seen at Orgatec Cologne 2016

We must start with a confession . This High Five! is a High Four! Not because there weren’t good products

Pacific Chair by Barber Osgerby, as seen at Vitra - Work, Orgatec 2016

When we spoke with Vitra’s Chief Sales Officer Josef Kaiser at NeoCon Chicago he told us that at “Orgatec 2016

Sofa? Desk? SofaDesk! Hack by Konstantin Grcic for Vitra, as seen at NeoCon Chicago 2016

Although geographically the (hi)story of Vitra begins in Basel, spiritually it begins in America and arrives in Switzerland in 1957

The little regarded undersides of chairs....

With the opening of the Vitra Schaudepot the Vitra Campus has not only grown by a further building, but the

Vis-a-vis by Glen Oliver Löw & Antonio Citterio for Vitra

Born in Leverkusen Glen Oliver Löw initially studied Industrial Design at the University of Wuppertal before moving to Milan in

Cloverleaf modular sofa system by Verner Panton through Verpan, and distributed to airports via Vitra, as seen at Passenger Terminal Expo 2016 Cologne

If the Light + Building trade fair in Frankfurt is home to exhibitors the majority of us have never heard

Fabric print by Ērika Iltnere

“All in the wild March morning I heard the angels call, It was when the moon was setting, and the

A&W Mentor Prize 2016: Michel Charlot

In addition to the exhibition of their work in Cologne, the A&W Designer of the Year crown also allows the

Fionda table for Mattiazzi, Ormiale Bordeaux & Bac Armchair for Cappellini, as seen at the exhibition A&W Designer of the Year 2016 - Jasper Morrison, Passagen Cologne

2016 sees the 20th anniversary of German architecture and design magazine A&W’s “Designer of the Year Award.” Following on from

Just as January means Cologne, April is Milan. And normally only Milan. In 2015 however we managed to spice things

In our post from the Barbican Art Gallery exhibition “The World of Charles and Ray Eames” we noted the disappointing

Bauhaus Glossary, as seen at, The Bauhaus #itsalldesign, Vitra Design Museum

One of the biggest problems with Modernism is the name. It was unquestionably modern. Which is why it became known

Vitra Frankfurt Ampelphase 7 Sehnsucht SYRA_Schoyerer Architekten & Elmar Lixenfeld

If form follows function, what form does, could, should yearning and longing have? If architects are continually searching for a

The 360° Stool by Konstantin Grcic for Magis (2009) and the Nelson Perch by George Nelson through Vitra (1964)

On March 10th 2015 a jury at the Central District Court of California in Los Angeles concluded that Pharrell Williams

Uncino chair by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec for Mattiazzi, as seen at Milan Furniture Fair 2015

It was invariably more through good fortune than good planning; however, at Milan Furniture Fair 2015 Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec’s

……and continued over Budapest and on to Berlin – where amongst other delights we partook of the exhibitions Sensing the

Following on from the relative inactivity of August September saw us wind back up towards the 2014 autumn design festival

… had things not continued apace in June. A month which saw us trawl trough Berlin with Niek Wagemans looking

As all old thesauruans know “April” is merely a synonym for “Milan” And lo despite all promises to the contrary

vitra george nelson ball clock

As many of you will be aware, for us no post about 20th century American design is complete with the