Travel Back in Time to Ikea’s 75 Years of Furniture Design

When you think about furniture, it’s difficult not to think of Ikea. That’s how iconic the brand is when it comes to furniture design. And why wouldn’t it be? This furniture giant from Sweden has been influencing the world of design for 75 years now!  ikea-vintage-gratulera-collection-design_dezeen_2364_hero-1-852x609Yes, that’s right. This year marks Ikea’s 75th anniversary, and they are releasing an anniversary collection made up of their most iconic pieces. Aptly named “Gratulera” (which is Swedish for congratulate), their collection will have three separate launches, or sub-collections: 1950s to 1960s, 1970s to 1980s, and 1990s to 2000s. The first one, 50s to 60s, is set to be released this August. The next one will be around October. And of course, the final collection will be released in December along with the holiday season. So be sure to mark those calendars!3f9dfc3cdce9fc6c6196a1167105b02239ca8e5eGratulera will not only include their most iconic furniture, but will also feature lighting and tableware collections. One such piece is the LÖVET table (now known as LÖVBACKEN), which is the company’s first knock back product. This collapsible concept was apparently brought into life when one of their employees dismantled the LÖVET’s legs to fit it into his small car. Fast forward to today, almost all of Ikea’s pieces are flat-packed and can simply be assembled at home for convenience. This very concept, catapulted Ikea to furniture design fame, making it almost impossible to imagine that this giant furniture company started by just being a small post order business ran by a teenager. ikea-vintage-gratulera-collection-design_dezeen_2364_col_9-1704x1278 The 70s to 80s collection will be just exciting as the company will relaunch the original Klippan sofa, which we have seen grow and adapt throughout the years, along with other Retro-inspired items.ikea-vintage-gratulera-collection-design_dezeen_2364_col_32-1704x1278Finally, the 90s to 00s collection will include Thomas Sandell’s sculptural furniture, such as the iconic small bench with wheels, which was another game player in the world of furniture design. Ikea announced that each design will be released in limited edition, so be sure to plan your purchases wisely.
References: en.wikipedia.org  hikeamuseum.com  www.ikea.com  www.apartmenttherapy.com  www.dezeen.com/

The dragon of Barcelona: Gaudi’s Casa Batlló is one of the most bizarre architectural works from the 20th century

Casa_Batllo_Overview_Barcelona_Spain_cutBarcelona is a city of great culture and amazing architecture which makes it one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Some of the most recognizable architectural masterpieces were constructed by the one and only Antoni Gaudi, who at the beginning of 1900 started to build a house which today is considered as one of his greatest works.   398px-CasaBatllo_0054The name of the house is Casa Batlló and the architect’s idea was to depict Saint George and the dragon. He was hired by the Batlló family to rebuilt their previous home. The owner gave total freedom to Gaudi to do what thinks its best to reconstruct the whole place. With his artistic vision, he created the most authentic work of art.800px-Close_up_Casa_BatloThe texture of the façade looks like a dragon’s gills and there is a cross on the roof that represents the saint. The balconies which are carved of cast iron look like faces and suppose to be the skulls of the dragon’s victims. The unusually shaped windows in the lower part of the house and the entrance have white curved frames and highly decorated columns that combined together look like a dragon’s jaw. That is way Casa Batlló is also dubbed as the House of Bones.CasaBatllo_inner_courtyardThe interior is as bizarre as the exterior. One of the most stunning spaces is the loft with its nadrealistic white walls that looks like a dragon’s spine. The main floor is the largest space in the house which has the unusually shaped windows covered with colorful stained glass. The most popular feature in the house is the roof which according to Gaudi represents the dragon’s back. It is made of colorful ceramic tiles and there is a small window shaped like a triangle that symbolizes the dragon’s eye.
CasaBatllo_rooftop_chimneys_dragonThe house was finished in two years, and from 1910 it was impossible for the locals to not stop in front of it and admire its unusual beauty. The word of the House of Bones spread fast around the world and everyone was excited to see this dragon in the middle of the city. It belonged to the Batlló family until the 1950s and after almost forty years it was bought by the Bernat family who are the current owners. From 1995, the house is open to the public and many events are hosted during each year. Millions of people come to visit the house and it always stands out as one of the greatest places they’ve visited from their must-see lists. In 2005, it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site and remains as one of the most valuable icons of Barcelona. CasaBatlló_NobleFloor_saloon_side1024px-Casa_Batlló_(Antoni_Gaudi)_(interior,_ceiling_close_up),_43,_Passeig_de_Gràcia,_Eixample,_Barcelona,_Catalonia,_Spainimages: wiki

The great North American migration: a butterfly extravaganza

It is perhaps the quietest animal migration on earth, so quiet in fact that until the 1970s no one even knew it happened. Every fall monarch butterfly populations of the United States and southern Canada head south to overwintering sites in Mexico. They go in search of food and warmer climes, a migratory journey that can take these delicate creatures two months to complete. Some will have traveled 3,000 miles, a seemingly formidable task for such a small and delicate a creature as a butterfly.MonarchInMexicoThen, each March the next generations of monarchs return north, arriving home in July, having flown 50 to 100 miles every day for several weeks helped only by the wind and their fat reserves. It is the only butterfly known to perform such a migration, more likely seen in birds and larger animals, and although monarch butterflies can be found across the globe, the great North American migration is carried out by just one subspecies increasingly threatened by habitat loss and disease.MonarchMigrationMapThey roost in huge numbers climbing into the millions on oyamel fir trees in just a few special mountain sanctuaries such as Sierra Chincua outside of the town of Angangueo in central Mexico. Completely covering the trees, they have been known to break the branches of the oyamels with their combined weight, despite the fact each individual weighs less than a gram. Even more astonishingly, the butterflies arrive at the same trees generation after generation, somehow knowing their destination without ever having seen it for themselves.monarchPairBonSecourRefugeThe oyamel trees – also known as the sacred fir – create a microclimate which protects the butterflies from the worst of the weather, preventing temperatures rising too high or dropping too low, while clustering together also helps the creatures keep warm. To see the dark orange stained-glass patterning of the wings huddled among others on the trees, or the insects sweeping around the forest like the dropping leaves of fall is one of nature’s most astonishing spectacles.Metamorphosis MonarchOnNewEngland images: fws.gov