Polish Cold War neons illuminate a unique history

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One of the most surprising legacies of Cold War-era Poland is its brilliant variety of neon signs, the first of which went up in Warsaw in 1929. Popular from the start, neons saw a flourishing in the cities in the 1950s, -60s and -70s. The earliest neon signs were made to order—free in design, shape, and color, and very influential on other forms of advertising, like poster design and typography. After the Communist regime gained power after World War II, it largely took over neon production with its state-run agency, Reklama. Designed and built by prominent architects, graphic designers, and artists, Polish neon signage was renowned worldwide for its outstanding technical and artistic qualities.

Of more than 1,000 that once existed in the country, only a few dozen neons remain in their original locations—some fully renovated, like the Mozaika neon on Pulawska St. (below, bottom), Izis on Marszalkowska (below, middle, inset), the Tkanina sign (Polish for “cloth”) on Wilsona Sqare, or a giant globe advertising a travel bureau (below, bottom, inset).Many other neon signs have been rescued and put on display at the Neon Muzeum (top) in the industrial Praga district, where many former factories now house a range of cultural venues, shops, and restaurants. Continue reading “Polish Cold War neons illuminate a unique history”

Tuesday, January 15th, 2019

Where to go in 2019

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It’s that time of year again! From the Zambezi River to the East China Sea, the Hudson Valley to Provence, we think these seven underrated travel destinations are primed for exploration in the coming year. So as 2018 draws to a close, here’s a bit of inspiration for the months ahead. Continue reading “Where to go in 2019”

Thursday, December 27th, 2018

The Design Hotels guide to New Year’s Eve

As 2018 draws to a close, many of us may be struck by a sentiment expressed in one of the year’s top pop hits: Thank you, next. It’s been a wild year, so it’s only fitting we ring it out in style. Whether you’re in the mood (and the time zone) for a London rooftop, a Caribbean island, or a Berlin basement, the global Design Hotels collection has the party for you. There are too many great festivities to list, so we’ve compiled a small selection of some of the best New Year’s Eve celebrations across our 300+ hotels in 60 countries around the world.

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Sunday, December 16th, 2018

Miami to welcome an innovative new hotel concept

Yes, Miami is still prime terrain for sun worshippers and party people, but in the past decade—particularly since the 2002 arrival of Art Basel—it’s come into its own as the vibrant, Latin-inflected cultural capital of the American Southeast. And as of December 31, visitors will have a new way to explore the city’s eccentric personality when an innovative hotel concept debuts in two disparate neighborhoods. Little Havana and South Beach are the first flagship offerings from Life House, a new contemporary hospitality concept. With a focus on historic building rehabilitations, Life House prides itself on being “responsive” to its surroundings, delivering authentically local concepts unique to each neighborhood, not to the market at large.

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Sunday, December 9th, 2018

Five companies remaking Danish design

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No city has been more central to the development of contemporary design than Copenhagen. The hometown, not only of hygge, but of midcentury masters like Finn Juhl, Hans Wegner, and Arne Jacobsen, the Danish capital was an important launchpad for an aesthetic featuring clean lines, functional furnishings, and a neutral palette, that today is inextricable from our idea of modernism. The Copenhagen of today is still a seedbed, nurturing a new generation of forward-thinking designers creating the brilliant spaces of tomorrow. Here are five standouts that every lover of design should know. Continue reading “Five companies remaking Danish design”

Thursday, October 4th, 2018