Driven by design Off the Wall has a few peculiar fetishes, but we’ve never fantasised about curling up with a loved one in front of the fire on a car mat. Each to their own, though, and if you and your paramour have a particular proclivity for all things fourwheeled, and motor shows make you feel lusty, then it may be worth checking out the new Car Pet rug (right), designed by Halfmann Mennickheim.

Car Pet rugs have been developed in collaboration with a car mat manufacturer and have a more sophisticated, stylised form than traditional bearskin rugs. The simple outline, functional colours and ridged edging communicate their automotive origin and they certainly make a statement stretched out on the living room floor. We’re just not sure what kind of statement. Measuring 160cm x 120cm and made from wool and goat hair, the rugs sell for about ¤240 (HK$2,400) through


Out of his tree When I was a child, I built a treehouse from old packing crates and rusty nails. It looked downright dangerous and liable to infect my friends and me with tetanus but it was a great place to hide my air-rifle and the old Playboy magazines I found in my father’s wardrobe.

We have the feeling the designer treehouse that’s been erected in HomeSquare (left; 138 Sha Tin Rural Committee Road, Sha Tin, tel: 2634 0666) won’t be used for such purposes. We’re not sure what it will be used for, but it looks great.

The idea behind the project, by British-born designer Michael Young, is to give Hongkongers a taste of Christmas in Scandinavia, although we doubt many would want to complete the experience, with sub-zero temperatures and fermented herring.

Young, who is based in Hong Kong, has used his Link construction system to create the treehouse, which is known as a hytte, or hut, in Norwegian. It will be surrounded by examples of his work, including the Cityspeed bicycle for Giant (winner of the Eurobike 2008 Gold Award); the Magis dog house; and his Bramah pendant light.

And not a dog-eared Playboy in sight.

The treehouse will be on display until the end of the month.


Marc his words He has designed everything from chairs and restaurants to boutiques, cars, planes and even a spaceship. Australian Marc Newson is a giant among designers, and we have it from the grapevine that such stature is matched by his ego.

So it’s only fitting that a new Taschen book on the life and works of Newson should come in limited-edition form (1,000 numbered and signed copies, each in a linen covered slip-case) and cost an eye-watering HK$8,100 apiece. Mind you, that’s an absolute bargain compared with the Art Edition. Limited to 100 signed copies and with a cover and slipcase designed by Newson himself, that version will cost you HK$49,000 to put on your shelves.

Marc Newson. Works (above right) catalogues all of the wunderkind’s works to date, from the iconic Lockheed Lounge (the world’s most expensive piece of designer furniture, topping A$2 million/HK$16 million) to household objects and, more recently, large-scale projects such as the interior of Qantas’ A380 aircraft and the Aquariva yacht.

Newson’s star has been in the ascendant since he completed his studies in jewellery and sculpture at Sydney College of the Arts. He went on to become one of the world’s most celebrated and influential designers, with works in many of the most prestigious permanent collections, including those of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, London’s Design Museum, the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, and Germany’s Vitra Design Museum. In 2005, Time magazine listed him as one of the top 100 influential people in the world. No wonder he is a big head.

Marc Newson. Works features the work of photographer Alison Castle and is available at