Assouline Launches “Travel From Home” Candles, and Other News

Our daily look at the world through the lens of design.

Assouline’s Travel From Home candles. Photography by Charles Roussel/Assouline

The Design Dispatch offers expertly written and essential news from the design world crafted by our dedicated team. Think of it as your cheat sheet for the day in design delivered to your inbox before you’ve had your coffee. Subscribe now

Have a news story our readers need to see? Submit it here.

Assouline launches a line of six candles riffing on its popular Travel From Home series.

Assouline has launched a line of six Travel From Home candles, designed to match the quality of the high-end publisher’s books and offer “colorful and vibrant” ornamental vessels that complement interiors. The scents for each candle, priced at $80, were developed by Jérôme Epinette of Robertet and include Moon Paradise, Gstaad Glam, and Tulum Gypset. The move is part of a push to create ancillary products around popular franchises and expand the brand beyond its publishing roots, with cocktail bars in London and Seoul also opening.

Geoffrey Hinton, the “godfather of AI,” leaves Google and speaks about AI’s dangers.

Geoffrey Hinton, a pioneering researcher in AI and known as the “Godfather of AI,” has left his role at Google to speak freely about the dangers of the technology he helped create. Hinton believes that some of the dangers of AI chatbots are “quite scary” and that “they soon may be” more intelligent than humans. He also highlighted concerns about “bad actors” who could manipulate the technology in ways that could have detrimental impacts on society. Hinton was one of three AI pioneers who won the Turing Award in 2019, and he retired from Google after 10 years overseeing the Google Research team in Toronto.

Zaha Hadid Architects is using AI text-to-image generators in its design process.

Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) is incorporating AI text-to-image generators like DALL-E 2 and Midjourney into their design process. According to studio principal Patrik Schumacher, the technology allows the firm to quickly generate design ideas for early ideation and competition stages. Schumacher claims that the generated images, bearing the studio’s signature fluid, sinewy style, are potent enough to present to clients as early sketches. He also noted that nearly all the generated images have “Zaha Hadid” in the prompting, which he accepts into their oeuvre. The firm has set up an internal AI research group and selects about “10 to 15 percent” of output from the AI image generators to take forward to the 3D modeling phase.

A recreation of the Hotel Baur inside Paris’s Hôtel Marcel Dassault. Image courtesy of Artcurial

Venice’s magnificent Hotel Bauer Palazzo is preparing for a large-scale renovation.

The Hotel Bauer Palazzo, an emblem of magnificence in Venice, is undergoing a large-scale renovation and auctioned off more than 10,000 historical items worth $1.6 million, including Murano glassware, textiles, and furniture from acclaimed Venetian and Italian producers. The four live auctions held by Artcurial in Paris, staged with recreations of the Bauer’s rooms, garnered €1.5 million ($1.6 million), with the highest-grossing item being a pair of 1950s three-pronged Venetian wall sconces that fetched €158,064 ($232,000). Proceeds from the sales will support the Bauer’s eco-friendly renovation, led by architect Alberto Trosello and interior design group BAR Studio, which includes repairing its ornate façade and grand Neoclassical staircase.

Airbnb will introduce more than 50 improvements to fix its core design problems.

Airbnb is introducing more than 50 small improvements for renters and hosts that are meant to solve the most common issues of using the app. These include transparent pricing, cleaning fees, and easy checkout procedures. The company’s new summer update has been released in response to the increasingly vocal complaints across social media. Brian Chesky, the company’s CEO, explains that Airbnb has read 15,000 social media posts, analyzed millions of customer service complaints, and held conversational workshops with thousands of guests and hosts to identify the hit list of the top complaints for each step of the journey.

Renzo Piano Building Workshop unveils Istanbul Modern on the Karaköy waterfront.

Renzo Piano Building Workshop has designed Istanbul Modern, a museum in Turkey on the Karaköy waterfront. The building features a top-heavy form made up of three stacked rectilinear volumes, evoking the shape of a ship. The facade is covered in aluminum panels that reflect the sky and light colors, resembling a fish’s scales. On the ground floor, expansive glass walls offer views of the waterfront promenade, while the second floor houses the museum’s permanent collections. The roof features a large terrace and a reflective pool that extends the view of the nearby Bosphorus.

Some of the 230 classic cars amassed by Ad Palmen. Image courtesy of Gallery Aaldering/Classic Car Auctions

Today’s attractive distractions:

For one unlucky renter, Tinder for roommates was as awful as it sounds.

This year’s Met Gala was meh, but made for some entertaining memes

When not fronting U2, Bono has been sketching covers of The Atlantic.

An astonishing trove of 230 classic cars may fetch millions at auction.

All Stories