My Design Life (Well, Not Mine!)

Lisa S. Roberts at the Cooper Hewitt in New York City.

Lisa S. Roberts at the Cooper Hewitt in New York City.

The Cooper Hewitt was buzzing on August 16th when Lisa S. Roberts‘ show “My Design Life” was screened for an elite audience of design devotees. The docuseries premieres tonight with two back-to-back episodes on the Ovation network at 8:00 pm ET. The show, which will consist of ten thirty-minute episodes airing on consecutive Wednesdays at 8:00 and 8:30 pm ET/PT, follows Roberts and her team as they visit museum exhibitions, trade shows, retail stores and designers’ studios in order to gather ideas and inspiration for her upcoming book DesignPOP: Popular Trends in Contemporary Product Design.

The new book explores the trends taking place in contemporary design throughout the past 30 years. Highlights from the show include visits to the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum and the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the design studios of Harry Allen and Tony Wurman; retail stores such as Design Within Reach and Moss; and restaurants, including David Rockwell’s Pod and Christine Liaigre’s Buddakan.

Viewers will learn about the history behind the featured designs, as well as back stories of the designers and manufacturers who created them. The aim of Roberts and her team is to educate their audience about the importance of contemporary design while adding an air of whimsy and accessibility at the same time.

Lisa Roberts began her career as an architect. After six years, she left the field to pursue her professional interests in product and graphic design. Most recently, she has designed products for museum stores, such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum, among others. In the early 1980’s Roberts began collecting contemporary product design objects, which she calls “Antiques of the Future.” In 2006, Roberts published a book by the same title and, since that time, has traveled throughout the country speaking on the subject of design.

She has been featured on HGTV, The Today Show, and the Early Show, and Antiques of the Future was reviewed in Time, USA Today, Parade, Dwell, and local publications. In addition, Roberts serves on the executive committee and as a trustee of the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, and as a trustee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA), where she is a longstanding member of the museum’s contemporary design group, Collab.

Tune in design fans for a vivid romp through the contemporary design world; you’ll love the full-on, behind-the-sceens access!


Could This Be Your 15 Minutes?

Oprah Winfrey is looking for talent for her OWN network and if you live in Los Angeles or Atlanta, you can still audition in person. Everyone else can upload auditions for five categories: traditional talk show host, cooking, design (interior or fashion), health and well being, and wild card (if you can dream it, she will consider it). I leave it up to you to decide whether Lilou’s audition video will make the cut. Send RBD the links to your auditions in the comment section so we can see how everyone is doing!


Andie Day Brings Us KBIS

Andie Day

Andie Day

Roaming By Design has a treat for you today. Andie Day, an award-winning interior designer who has been featured on NECN’s television series “Dream House,” has submitted a guest post sharing with us her trend-spotting take on the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS), which ended yesterday. The founder of Andie Day LLC’s Design for Life™ admits to being electrified and inspired to see how many of the companies present are evolving in a variety of ways: KBIS 2010 exhibitors filled the halls with important product releases that will improve quality of life for homeowners. And speakers—including keynote Sergio Zyman, former CMO, Coca-Cola; Dennis Snow, former Manager, Disney Institute; and David Kohler, President & COO, Kohler Company—shared priceless advice for growing a business and connecting with consumers. I’ve summarized some of the tips & tricks for those who weren’t able to be there!

  1. Consumer fear, which has informed purchases, is dissipating slowly. As the market rebounds, consumers are regaining confidence in the economy and this confidence seeps into their purchases.
  2. Consumer mindset is infused with a sense of practicality. Consumers are concerned with cost, value, and ethics, often using the internet to compare prices and do research on companies that they may purchase items or services from.
  3. Businesses need to define winning on their own terms and decide if they’re in business to survive or win. Status quo won’t cut it in this economy; you must develop the mindset of a  “Winner” and commit to yourself to be the best at whatever it is that you do.
  4. Businesses must reinvent unique selling propositions and practices that leave clients feeling the “wow” factor. Make the customer’s experience memorable in the most cost effective way possible. Upgrade the experience and minimize the cost.
The Robern Vanity in blue

The Robern Vanity in blue

Design Trends I am thrilled to report that the companies included in the trend report embrace sustainable design practices and ADA compliant products that make the home safer while also being stylish and appealing. As Baby Boomers continue to migrate to the city, they gravitate toward products that replicate hotels and spas they love. The new line of Robern vanities and medicine cabinets are really breathtaking. What’s not captured in the photos above is the luminosity in the glass at front and sides. Take a close look and note the built-in lighting in the vanity. Drawers can be outfitted with various storage configurations including a spot for a hair dryer. The medicine cabinets eliminate the “swinging door” hazard and are designed to hold a small TV, refrigeration and offer a power source for small appliances

Aquatic's Ava

Aquatic’s Ava

I’ve heard about Aquatic’s newest tub, The Ava Bath, over the last couple of months and was glad to have a chance to view a functioning model. As compared to a walk-in bath, its sleek and modern design doesn’t look institutional. The tub fills rapidly and drains into a holding tank in 30 seconds allowing the user to exit the tub quickly.

Delta's Transfer Tub

Delta’s Transfer Tub

I’m extremely impressed with Delta Faucet’s hot-off-the-press Transfer Tub. It’s attractive, fits into the footprint of a typical 5’-0” tub and is designed for ease of use for all ages. I’m convinced this will become one of their best sellers. Here’s another beauty (can’t believe that I’m saying this about a toilet) that has a sleek, urban appeal with high functionality. Toto’s Neorest 600 features an automatic open and close lid, three cleansing modes and hands-free automatic flush. It’s Tank-less, which means it’s easier to clean and offers a water saving 1.2 gallon per flush. It’s human nature to resist change, especially when it affects our everyday lives. But change can often be good, or even for the best. Innovative design products can reinvent our lives, to grant those with busy schedules, safety concerns, or medical problems a second lease on life.

The Toto Neorest 600

The Toto Neorest 600

I thank Andie for her fantastic reportage since I didn’t make it to the show this year. I had the pleasure of getting to know her during a trip to New York last fall when Brizo faucets flew a group of bloggers to the city for Jason Wu’s runway show. Now, we’re both members of #Blogger19 on Facebook and I’m happy to be included in such fine company there! To see another trendsetting company’s products (Hansgrohe’s) in Heathrow’s new Terminal 5, visit the International Design Examiner page here.