Top 5: Bookends

A periodic nod to object typologies both obscure and ubiquitous, featuring five of our favorite recent examples. Today, our subject is the bookend — a.k.a. five new ways to make your killer design library look even cooler.
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Top 5: Yoga Mats

A periodic nod to object typologies both obscure and ubiquitous, featuring five of our favorite recent examples. Today, our subject is the yoga mat, a typically utilitarian slab of inoffensively colored foam that, thanks to the magic of digital printing, is getting a new dose of personality.
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designer dominos

Top 5: Designer Dominos

A periodic nod to object typologies both obscure and ubiquitous, featuring five of our favorite recent examples. Today the subject is dominoes, which no longer resemble those black and white, polka-dotted celluloid tiles of yore.
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Top 5: Beach Towels

A periodic nod to object typologies both obscure and ubiquitous, featuring five of our favorite recent examples. Today, the subject is beach towels, whose increasingly complex graphic patterns offer more ways than ever to stand out on the sand.
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Top 5: Transparent Jewelry

A periodic nod to object typologies both obscure and ubiquitous, featuring five of our favorite recent examples. Today, the subject is transparent jewelry, which has evolved beyond its '60s pop connotations to encompass designs both subtle and edgy.
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Top 5: Dust Pans

Our Top 5 column is a periodic nod to object typologies both obscure and ubiquitous, with five of our favorite recent examples highlighted in each post. Today, the subject is dust pans, whose utilitarian beauty is being rediscovered by a new generation of retailers and designers.
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Acme Releases Deadstock Memphis Objects

It was only a week and a half ago that we reported on a cache of original, made-in-the-80s Memphis jewelry designs that the brand ACME has spent the past few months pulling from its archives and posting for sale on its Legacy website (where it appears that even more designs, particularly those by Peter Shire, have since been added). But we had to come in for round two today when we found out that, just this morning, Acme unleashed the motherlode: actual objects, long unavailable and highly rarefied, by the likes of Ettore Sottsass, Andrea Branzi, and Aldo Rossi. Many of them are original prototypes, some of them are one-of-a-kind, and none of them were ever put into mass production. We've posted a selection of the offerings after the jump, along with the bits of history provided by ACME — get them before the collectors do!
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Top 5: Incense Burners

We love design thinking. We love interior design, landscape design, fashion design, and architectural design. We love design for social change, and design for public spaces. But it's hardly a shocker to admit that we've got a particularly soft spot for the design of objects, and as such we're constantly looking for new ways to highlight them — mostly with in-depth backstories and maker profiles, but sometimes, as in our Eye Candy and Saturday Selects posts, with a simple tip of our hats as well. Our newest column, Top 5, is just that: a straightforward, periodic nod to object typologies both obscure and ubiquitous, with five of our favorite recent examples of that typology highlighted in each post. Today, the subject is incense burners, whose proliferation among makers and ceramicists we've been noting for some time now. From geometric compositions to simple brass balls, in no particular order, see our picks after the jump.
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In a Philly Photographer’s Hands, Photos That Look Like Digital Collages

We've been familiar with Philadelphia-based photographer Roxana Azar's work for some time now (last summer, she took the snaps for our story on fellow Philadelphian Page Neal of Bario-Neal (where Azar also works). But the second she sent us the latest personal series she's been working on, we knew we had to share. Azar digitally manipulates her photos to make them almost painterly or collage-like, but in the series we're sharing today, many of the images began as photographs from gardens where Azar spent her childhood. "I am really interested in using the photograph as a starting point to layer, erase, rebuild, and obscure an image, turning the image into something ambiguous yet playful," Azar says.
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minimalist design incense holders

27 Incense Burners That Double As Art Objects

A few years ago, we noticed an uptick in the number of incense burners being produced by small-scale makers, and produced this little nothing of a story. Fast-forward two years, and that uptick has suddenly become a deluge — like jewelry once was, incense burners have become an indispensable part of a designers’ small goods line-up, as well as a place to experiment with form and materials. The rise in popularity of incense has gone hand in hand with an explosion in the world of ceramics (since incense burners can, by definition, only be made from a certain number of materials, including clay). But it all comes back to the recent popularity of cleansing rituals in general, be they part of a greater wellness trend or simply a way to reclaim some shred of sanity in these troubled times. Even better, these minimalist takes look stylish even when not in use. Breathe deep and scroll through to find where to find — and buy — our favorites right now.
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Alpha Cruxis by Rebecca Martin

Tasmanian-born designer Rebecca Martin started the fashion label Alpha Cruxis earlier this summer from her studio in Neuköln, Berlin. Its launch collection consists of five geometrically shaped handbags that Martin meticulously handcrafts from rigid 3mm-thick Italian leather, using methods she likens more to carpentry than fashion design — sanding, carving, etc.
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