Wallpaper* Magazine January 2007: Less but Better

The message behind January's Wallpaper* magazine is loud & clear: "Less but Better". The cover, the latest in a series of limited-edition designs, is by German architect and industrial designer Dieter Rams, and its a philosophy he's been pushing for awhile. And Wallpaper* has discovered that it's spreading: "Now, others – particularly in furniture design – have taken it onboard in terms of environmental responsibility and are looking at ways of producing sustainable design that works well, looks good and makes sense. Environmentally responsible doesn't have to mean horsehair shirts and dirt-covered vegetables. It can manifest itself in cute, clever and highly desirable forms. Today we just need to take time to invest in fewer of the right items, rather than throwing away more of the wrong ones." Wallpaper* prides itself on revealing the best before it reaches the mainstream, so if they're forward-looking thoughts turn out to be prophetic, the design world at large will only get greener from here. As for the rest of the magazine, sprinkled among Dolce & Gabbana's new restaurant in Milan, waterfront architecture in Dubai and the rest of the best in modern design are a few quick mentions of what they describe above. Japan's Natural House organic supermarket chain, and specifically the natural cosmetics & skincare (page 034) gets a mention in the "Grooming & Beauty" selection, and Ringtons' organic herbal tea (page 047) is lauded for their new brand identity that heralds a new era for the company. Even the clever Lamp/Lamp, which we mentioned before, gets some attention (page 049) as the mag takes a peek at what's new in Japanese design. To start with such a compelling cover and then peter out when it comes to content is sort of like having a fabulous dessert first followed by an ordinary meal, but that doesn't mean that we like the dessert any less. ::Wallpaper*