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Part of the Contemporary Conversation series at the Bermuda National Gallery is this large-scale installation by artist Michael Walsh entitled Founded in Nothing.  The public is invited to meander along a winding path through the sculpture.  Hundreds of identical cardboard houses which have been reduced to their simplest form without any striking architectural details or embellishments are clustered together on either side of the path facing each other thereby engaging the viewer in conversation. The houses are perched on top of a series of splayed wire buttresses at different heights and appear to undulate gently over an imaginary landscape.  The steel supports on which the houses are mounted maintain their upright integrity only because of the house which is perched on top, creating a symbiotic link between house and support.

Although executed on a smaller scale than the artist had originally intended, Founded in Nothing is a visually striking piece which immediately arrests the attention of everyone entering the gallery. Several other of Walsh's pieces such as Mine, a hollow wooden  ball and white picket fence and i*a favourite We Did Nothing are also featured in the show which ends on Saturday.

Utility as art?  The Ori comb is one of a selection of objects on Oroma Elewa's online store, a carefully curated space intended to showcase her love of travel, culture, style and design with unique, handmade items.  The decorative wooden comb is handmade in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.  It is etched with a graphic pattern and facial motif on the front, the details of which are thrown into relief by white clay which has been rubbed into the surface.

Think lawyers' offices have to be staid and boring? Well think again. 

This lively, industrial, art-filled space with its juxtaposition of old and new, is the office of Bermuda law firm Marshall Diel & Myers and is the result of a collaboration between the firm's managing director Tim Marshall and architect David Benevides of Benevides & Associates who, along with his associate Richard Oldham, brought Marshall's vision to life.  Known as 31 Reid after its location, the team worked to create a modern, loft-like space with exposed, reclaimed brick walls and a custom-built stairway which is enhanced by dramatic lighting.  

The office is situated in a building that dates back to the 1700s and had been the subject of numerous renovations over the years.  For the project, the existing hardwood floors and steel trusses which support the roof were salvaged and preserved and these existing architectural elements were used to highlight the historic and industrial character of the building.  The large, modern central office space is brightened with skylights which allow natural light to filter in.  Adding to the industrial feel, brick and Bermuda-stone walls were left exposed and office utilities such as network cabling, lighting and air-conditioning ducts were uncovered rather than hidden.  The resulting space is undoubtedly striking and was awarded The Bermudian Magazine's Best Commercial Design award in 2012.

So pleased with all of the island content we've been able to feature this year - and we're not even halfway through!  Links to some of our favourite posts can be found after the jump.

The first in a series designed by Sergio Mendoza, Herminia Mira and Pau Almerich, the PHS 1 lamp is made in Spain from Mediterranean pinewood and powder coated steel. The shades are available in black or white and come with a wide variety of cable colours.

Perched high on the hills overlooking Port of Spain, Trinidad is this wonderful example of contemporary Caribbean architecture. 

Situated on a narrow, sloping site, architect Mark Raymond worked with the unique landscape to create a home over three levels. With the bedrooms situated on the upper level, the entry and living spaces in the middle and an informal recreation space and salt-water swimming pool at the lowest level, the cube-like home includes a series of exterior terraces which correspond to the various levels of the house. To make the most of the expansive views, floor-to-ceiling glass windows were utilised but to mitigate the effects of the strong tropical sun, horizontal louvre screens were affixed to the exterior of the home.  Also bringing light and a feeling of airiness into the interior is a glass skylight which runs the entire length of the house.

This set of beautifully coloured building blocks designed by Lee Storm for Hay is perfect for play or display.  Wooden Wonderland comes in two variations - rose or green - and is attractively boxed and packaged.

Image  |  Atelerie
Just in time for this weekend's national holiday, a new line of casual bracelets and necklaces featuring an engraving of Bermuda on a gold, silver or brass disc has arrived at local boutique Atelerie.

For the fourth year in a row, the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund winners have collaborated with J.Crew. This year's theme was Indigo and winners Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne of Public School have produced a collection which embodies their confident, irreverent and tough aesthetic.  Public School was founded in New York City in 2008 and the designers draw their inspiration both from their home city and their public school background. The resulting clothes are tailored and feminine at the same time.

The runners up Juan Carlos Obando and Mark Alary also produced capsule collections.

The individual product images for the capsule collection between Ostwald Helgason and Aldo Rise that we previewed here have been released. The collection includes sporty, block-heeled shoes and sandals, cross-body bags and backpacks.

We love this whimsical coconut-inspired hair calf coin purse from Kate Spade New York which features an enameled lime slice charm hanging from the zip top. Leather dots punctuate the corner, and gold-tone lettering details are inscribed the back. 
Image  |   Fedrigoni
This post-it note style calendar from Italian paper company Fedrigoni features individual perforated pop up numbers on each page with each month denoted by a different colour.
These pretty, botanical jewellery designs from We Dream in Colour are from a collection of handmade adornments made from reclaimed metals and vintage re-purposed materials designed by Jade Gedeon.  The company focuses on operating as an environmentally friendly entity by using non-toxic solutions to prep, clean and colour their pieces, as well as lead-free enamels and 100% biodegradable packaging materials and a portion of the profits generated from the sale of We Dream in Colour jewellery is donated to environmental and humanitarian foundations and charities.

This unique soft shelving unit from Italian designer Vito Marco Marinaccio for Formabilio is made up of a shelf structure of oak and an aluminium rod through which multiple brown, leather wallets are hung.  An ideal way to store small items, the Tasca shelves represent a new type of hybrid furniture which enables one to suspend rather than conceal objects.  The shelves are delivered flat packed for convenience and must be individually assembled.

Play is a large, hammock-style lounger designed by Scot Sardinha.  Born and and raised on the Caribbean island of Trinidad and Tobago, Sardinha studied in France and the US and dabbled in painting, sculpture, interior design and production design before finding his calling in furniture design.  His pieces are often inspired by the natural lines of driftwood and have an earthy, contemporary style. 

The Play lounger consists of a birch plywood frame with an ebony finish which supports a 6” thick fabric-clad cushion. The cushion rests on a canvas hammock which is lined with a decorative, complementary upholstery fabric, ensuring that the lounger can be used with or without the cushion and remains both functional and aesthetically pleasing. 
We're always happy when combinations of different materials come together to create something new and beautiful, like this collection of diverse items called POT.PURRI from 3 Dots Collective.  The collection is inspired by the idea of bridging the gap between the design of an object and the material from which it is made, as well as "fluctuating shapes" as an expression of contemporary design.  The modular pieces are intended, through various permutations and combinations, to result in more than 50 individual items - from lamps to tableware - each with different shapes and functions.

With a play on words that reflects its West Indian roots, indieSWIM is a swimsuit line that embodies the sun, sea and sand that is synonymous with the region.

Inspired by travel, nature and art, each piece is designed to be mixed and matched for maximum versatility.  Although currently based in South Florida, designer Zoe finds much of her inspiration in her homeland of Trinidad and Tobago.  Together with co-designer Rosanna, the pair travel often to keep the inspiration for their line fresh.  indieSWIM is available at selected retailers and via their website.
How amazing is this playground which is currently under construction on the grounds of the National Museum of Bermuda?  Designed by Danish firm Monstrum, the project features a giant moray eel swimming through sea grass and an accurate replica of the St David's Lighthouse.
This chair-cum-table-cum-footstool by Scoope Design is a multi-purpose piece which is intended to work in small spaces.  Called the Superbambi the tri-coloured chair is composed of two parts: a white base and a bright orange interlocking piece that slots into different positions as needed.  By inserting the orange ends into different pre-cut holes, the chair can easily be transformed into an end table or a writing desk for children without the need for special tools or knowledge.

Brooklyn-based design studio Magnetic Kitchen has transferred intricate designs and artwork onto premium maple wood skateboards in a unique manner.

Using a laser cutter, the embossed effect is created by burning a layer off of the surface of the wood of the board which creates a textural three-dimensional pattern and reveals the contrasting colour of the wood grain. The resulting boards are art in themselves and Magnetic Kitchen sells them without wheels, trucks or grip tape so you can mount them on your wall should you so desire. 

For better or for worse it looks as though the flower crown trend won't be going anywhere soon, but Trinidadian Sanian Lewis who designs under the Sanianitos label (and whose designs were featured in Adrian Foster's lookbook which we wrote about here) brings something new to the table.

Lewis' hand-crafted pieces are more avant-garde than usual as she deliberately avoids the production of lifelike floral arrangements.  Instead she creates glamorously romantic pieces which are often painted a single, hyper-realistic colour.  In addition to flower crowns, Lewis also designs jewellery and embellished sunglasses, all of which are in keeping with her relaxed, bohemian aesthetic.  

3.1 Philip Lim have released a capsule collection consisting of tailored separates including wide-legged cuffed trousers, a single-button blazer and a convertible two-piece trench coat all in the same uniformly dark blue denim colour. 

Last month, photographer and lifestyle designer Gray Malin made a 48-hour trip to Bermuda from his base in Los Angeles.  While on the island, Malin took the opportunity to create a new photo series in his highly recognisable style which includes photographing helium balloons against the backdrop of striking scenery, in this case, the beautiful turquoise water of the island.  

Tubabu is a stool made of toned beech designed by Martín Azúa.  In a unique design element, the three legs of the stool are inserted into the seat and stabilised by a twisted cord which is attached to the footrest.

Although most of the designs have apparently already sold out, how could we not feature the quirky shoes which longtime i*a favourite Sophia Webster created for this her second collaboration with J.Crew?  The collection features 13 exclusive styles rendered in the polka-dot prints, tassels and mismatched patterns which are typical of Webster's playful aesthetic.

Multi-disciplinary Bermudian artist Antoine Hunt who has used photography,  sculpture and video in the production of his works was recently featured in ARC Magazine where he took an introspective look at the evolution of his art, and discusses coming to terms with the artist label.