The practice of ‘dopamine dressing’, or wearing bright colors to promote joy, is gaining traction in the fashion world – some now say the trend could also carry over to the domestic sphere. Whatever happens next, stay in the know with our weekly roundup of headlines, launches and events, recommended reading and more.
In the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, which has suffered extensive destruction since the Russian invasion began two months ago, a group of local leaders and designers have already met to plan reconstruction efforts. According to Dezeenbritish architect Norman Foster, leader of Foster + Partners, the UK’s largest architecture studio, met the city’s mayor in Geneva last week to discuss the rehabilitation of Kharkiv, bringing with him a manifesto outlining a possible design approach – a process that includes the engagement of Ukrainian architects to recover the region’s architectural heritage and rebuild the houses, hospitals, schools and historic buildings that were hit by shells during the attacks. “I am committed to bringing together the best minds with the best planning, architectural, design and engineering skills in the world to contribute to the rebirth of the city of Kharkiv,” Foster wrote in the manifesto.
Interior decorator Sheila Bridgesthe book The Bald Mermaid: A Memoir may soon hit the big screen, Deadline reports, after the producer Trevite Willis and his production company Southern Fried Filmworks announced last week that they had chosen the story to adapt as a series. The book itself follows Bridges’ journey to becoming a successful designer – a rise that led to high profile clients and a TV show, before a diagnosis of alopecia forced the designer to face big questions about race, femininity and success.
Meta Platforms Inc., owner of Facebook, has announced plans to open its first physical store in Burlingame, California, Reuters reports. The 1,550 square foot retail space will open May 9, allowing shoppers to try out the company’s virtual reality headsets, Ray-Ban-made smart glasses and Portal video calling devices. . According to a press release from Martin GilliardResponsible for the Meta Store, the launch of a physical space was in part to demonstrate to users how the company’s products can offer entry into the metaverse.
Courtesy of Disney
Design Shanghai, which was originally scheduled to take place June 9-12, was postponed to new dates in October due to the city’s lockdown in response to an outbreak of COVID-19, Dezeen reports. The rescheduled show will still take place at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition & Convention Center, with lineup updates and new digital initiatives to be announced in the coming months. Shanghai, meanwhile, has been in lockdown since March 28 as the city continues to resist the omicron variant of the virus that has spread across most of the country.
Supply chain disruptions can affect retailers’ relationships with consumers, according to a new study. Like Today’s creators reports, delivery software company DispatchTrack surveyed customer satisfaction with delivering large, bulky items like furniture, finding that 61% said they were unlikely to buy from the same retailer if the order did not arrive on time. The report also revealed that more than half of recent large and bulky deliveries had been postponed, which the majority of respondents – 58% – found frustrating.
Home exchange startup Kindred, founded by former Opendoor employees Justine Palefsky and Tasneem Aminacompleted a $7.75 million fundraising round led by Andreessen Horowitz, with participation from Bessemer Venture Partners, Caffeinated Capital and angel investors like the former CEO of Opendoor Elad Gil. Like Tech Crunch reports, the company was founded in March 2021 as an affordable members-only network for home exchanges. After paying an annual fee of $300, members can stay for free at other members’ homes and can then bank those nights to stay at another property on the platform. With the new capital, the company plans to expand its team and scale the platform.
San Francisco-based startup Playbook has completed an $18 million Series A funding round led by Bain Capital Ventures, Tech Crunch reports. Branded as “Pinterest-meets-Dropbox”, the company was launched in early 2020 with the goal of providing freelancers and designers with a collaborative cloud storage tool that would apply image tagging technology to photos and videos, turning a regular file library into a “Pinterest-like gallery. With the new funds, the company plans to onboard new members to its 14-person team and continue to grow its platform.
Launches and collaborations
E-commerce site Vermillion launched last week, offering a selection of luxury Asian design and lifestyle brands ranging from high-profile design studios like Alan Chan Creations and Hans Tan Studio to lesser-known artisans like Ann Niu Studio. The B2B platform is currently home to 150 brands, which offer a variety of bespoke homeware, décor, wellness and artwork from China, Japan, Southeast Asia and by the way.
Courtesy of Vermillion
Media giant Disney has announced the launch of Disney Home, a design brand featuring furniture, home accessories and brand collaborations from designers and affiliated retailers, Dezeen reports. The new product line includes references to franchises such as Star Wars, Marvel and various Pixar films, applied to the two existing household products the company has launched in addition to new “aspirational furniture” pieces. Premium launch items include a life-size recreation of Mickey Mouse created by an interior designer Kelly Hoppenas well as figurines from the pop sculpture studio Leblon Delienne.
Martha Stewart decided to do some spring cleaning this week, inviting the public to Bedford, New York, to pick up the house icon’s abandoned goods. For Braked, Sicha Choir visited the Stewart compound to attend the Martha Stewart Great American Tag Sale – an experience that included piles of holiday furniture and decorations strewn about, TV crews and even an appearance by Stewart herself.
The pandemic has set the housing and design industry on a new path – for some designers in particular, it has sparked new side projects, new business ventures and, in some cases, new career trajectories. For The New York Times‘s Design series of special reports, Pilar Viladas interviews three design professionals in three different countries to see how the pandemic has reshaped their careers.
Homepage image: Disney has launched Disney Home, a design brand featuring furniture, home accessories and brand collaborations from designers and affiliated retailers. | Courtesy of Disney