Struggling DTC Brand Interior Define Gets a Lifeline, and Other News

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

Image via Interior Define

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

After skirting bankruptcy, Interior Define finds a lifeline in e-design platform Havenly.

“Last fall, Interior Define’s customers took to social media en masse to voice their anger over missing furniture and erratic communication. Behind the scenes, the Chicago-based furniture brand was struggling. Among other challenges, an ambitious retail expansion plan had left it short on cash at a time when shipping companies and manufacturers worldwide were raising prices. By the end of summer, Interior Define was unable to pay for the release of millions of dollars of product already delivered to ports in the U.S. Interior Define has entered into a legal process akin to bankruptcy, an “assignment for the benefit of creditors” or “ABC.” In simple terms, Interior Define as a legal entity—along with its debts—will be dissolved (the company has since posted an explanation of the process on its Instagram account). But prior to entering into the ABC, Interior Define found a buyer to purchase its intellectual property and take over stewardship of its brand: e-design platform Havenly.” [H/T Business of Home]

A Danish artist’s racist “Covid China” window artwork sparks outrage in Copenhagen.

“In the display window of a Copenhagen gallery named ArtPusher, a neon artwork depicted a larger-than-life Chanel-style perfume bottle that reads “N’19 COVID CHINA.” In recent days, the work has been denounced onsite and online as racist, but the gallery owner and artist Søren Vilhelm, who goes by “ArtPusher,” has doubled down instead of issuing an apology. Leading the protest against the racist artwork is Xue Chen, an art student in London who happened by the gallery during a visit to Copenhagen.” [H/T Hyperallergic]

Image courtesy of Thom Browne

Adidas and Thom Browne are enmeshed in a trademark lawsuit over use of stripes.

“Thom Browne and Adidas are in court this week following the start of a jury trial that pits Adidas’ mighty three-stripe trademark against a four-stripe logo that Thom Browne began using 15 years ago. Adidas is angling for a finding of trademark infringement—namely, that consumers are likely to be confused as to the nature/source of Thom Browne’s striped wares, and in particular, believe that they are affiliated with or otherwise authorized by Adidas—and nearly $8 million in damages, while counsel for Thom Browne is leaning into the argument that the two companies are situated differently in the market—Adidas in sportswear and Thom Browne in the high fashion segment—and thus, are not competitors.” [H/T The Fashion Law]

Glasgow, undergoing a street art renaissance, is considering legalizing graffiti walls.

“Wild-style graffiti in bright colors, a bunch of photorealistic roses and a lofty trademark skull by Smug, one of Glasgow’s most celebrated street artists, adorn the walls around SWG3, a multi-purpose arts venue based in a collection of warehouses near the River Clyde. This former galvanizers’ yard is the site of the annual Yardworks festival and the center of Glasgow’s street art renaissance. The trend is apparent around every street corner, from the tourist trails taking in the city center’s popular gable-end murals to the intricate calligraphy of individual tags. The city council is exploring options for setting up legal walls where young people can develop their work without fear of arrest. Councilors are discussing how best to channel creative energies in an area that spent twice as much on graffiti removal as the second-placed council, Hackney in east London.” [H/T The Guardian]

A new data tool shows how the “warehouse boom” is impacting greater Los Angeles. 

“Warehouse CITY, a new data tool developed at the Robert Redford Conservancy for Southern California Sustainability, is providing insight regarding the rapid pace of urban development through a very specific lens: the footprint left by warehouse construction in Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties. Los Angeles clocks in as one of the top three Southern California cities with the most land dedicated to warehouses, thanks mostly to its proximity to the Ports of L.A. and Long Beach—two of the nation’s busiest—and the highways and railways which support them. With more than 2,500 acres allotted for warehouses, the city sees 48,583 daily truck trips and a daily emission rate of 4,504,616 CO2 (pounds). In other discouraging numbers, Warehouse CITY reveals that approximately 1,100 warehouses across over 12,000 acres have been built just since 2010.” [H/T LA Mag]


As schools ban ChatGPT, a new app can detect if the AI program wrote student essays.

“A new app can detect whether your essay was written by ChatGPT, as researchers look to combat AI plagiarism. Edward Tian, a computer science student at Princeton, said he spent the holiday period building GPTZero. He shared two videos comparing the app’s analysis of a New Yorker article and a letter written by ChatGPT. It correctly identified they were written by a human and AI. GPTZero scores text on its “perplexity and burstiness”—referring to how complicated it is and how randomly it is written. The app was so popular that it crashed “due to unexpectedly high web traffic,” and currently displays a beta-signup page.” [H/T Insider]

Soccer legend Pelé will be buried in a stadium-style mausoleum in coastal Brazil.

“One of the greatest soccer players of all time is kicking around in the afterlife in a mini stadium complete with artificial turf. Edson Arantes do Nascimento—better known as Pelé—bought his 2,150-square-foot burial area almost two decades ago at the Memorial Ecumenical Cemetery, a 14-story burial ground in Santos, Brazil that the Guinness Book of World Records deemed the world’s tallest. Pelé played for most of his career in Santos, a coastal city about 40 miles southeast of São Paulo. In light of his connections to the city and the sport, his embalmed body will lie in the middle of a turf field surrounded by gilded statues that memorialize his greatest moments. The cemetery is a half-mile walk to Vila Belmiro, the stadium where 15-year-old Pelé started his career.” [H/T The Architect’s Newspaper]

Jean-Michel Basquiat’s former studio at 57 Great Jones Street. Photography by Sylvester Zawedzki/Meridian Capitol Group

Today’s attractive distractions:

This startup harnesses solar energy to make high-tech protein out of thin air.

You can rent Jean-Michel Basquiat’s former studio—for $60,000 a month.

Sun Ra’s cosmic cover art is celebrated in a new book by Fantagraphics. 

The “social omnivore” diet of selective vegetarianism is gaining popularity.

All Stories