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Take 5: Radical Ruggism, Design after Capitalism, MINI Concept Aceman, and More

Every other week we’re inviting one of the Design Milk team to share five personal favorites – an opportunity for each of us to reveal the sort of designs we use and appreciate in our own lives from a more personal perspective. Tech Editor Gregory Han returns this week for our Take 5 series.

08.11.22 | By
Take 5: Radical Ruggism, Design after Capitalism, MINI Concept Aceman, and More

1. MINI Concept Aceman

It’s not always necessary to throw out the baby with the bath water when it comes to designs that have attained iconic standards. And the MINI is definitely one of those vehicles that is instantly recognizable even at glance even now numerous iterative generations into its existence. The brand’s newest all-electric MINI Crossover SAV concept hits all the marks in keeping those identifiably MINI-ish qualities, while updating it with some sleek detailing. I mean check out those cool color combinations, many obviously inspired by current interior decor trends. Extra points for its uninhibited funky interior cabin that isn’t afraid to lean into “fun” rather than merely “futuristic.” Bravo, MINI!

2. Design after Capitalism: Transforming Design Today for an Equitable Tomorrow

As someone whose earlier design career first weaved through the video games, then the toy industry, I’m very well acquainted with the essential nature of the collaborative process in designing anything for scale, whether physical or digital. No designer operates as an island unto themselves, especially when quantities are measured in hundreds of thousands. But this cooperative approach tends to be fairly insular, self-contained to designing, manufacturing, and marketing. Matthew Wizinsky’s book Design After Capitalism proposes to extend this cooperative and collaborative process toward a more holistic and equitable economy, with design entrepreneurship taking the lead in taking responsibility of not only how something is made, but also what is designed in the first place. The culmination of chapters eventually leads to spelling out solutions, laying paths towards breaking away from failing standards, and reorienting design towards “both a horizon and a journey.”

3. Ruggism Rugs

For a short and sweet moment, I had convinced myself we were going to buy and live in a home in the Central California coast demarcated by its unusual amalgamation of 80s Southwestern architectural detailing hinting of Post Modern-era decor. Alas, the house sold before we were ready to buy, but the dreams of a colorfully irreverent decor scheme remain. If one day we’re lucky to find ourselves decorating a space that says, “go totally radical, dude!,” I’d be apt to decorate every room with numerous rugs from Ruggism’s two artist-inspired collections.

4. Naan Furniture

Not going to lie, a small part of the reason I am fond of this furniture studio is probably related to positive feelings I associate with the Indian flatbread of the same name. That said, I’ve been on a hunt to find a long and low media console to furnish our living room. This Spain-based furniture company specializing in sustainable wood furniture hits the mark in both design and pricing (even when factoring in the shipping costs). I’m envisioning a pair of these fresquera lattice-design media consoles stretching across our living room, emphasizing the horizontal plane while also giving some surface area for a television, turntable, audio speakers, and lighting while hiding other componentry.

5. Acoustic Slat Wood Wall Panels

As happy as we are as first time homeowners, we realize we have a daunting task ahead of us in the goal of revitalizing the spirit of a mid-century 1960s built residence, one thick with layers of questionable and dated 1980s/1990s treatments we’ll need to replace and update. One thing that we do love about our home is the original wood paneling, a common interior feature of the era. The vertical design is something we hope to echo by utilizing something like these modern day acoustic slat wood wall panels which aren’t merely an aesthetic solution, but also dampen acoustics. Installation seems reasonable for a seasoned and motivated DIYer with the right tools, and the results are impressively architectural versus merely paintings or wallpapering surfaces.

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Gregory Han is Tech Editor of Design Milk. A Los Angeles native with a profound love and curiosity for design, hiking, tide pools, and road trips, a selection of his adventures and musings can be found at gregoryhan.com.