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Design Dish: Winemaking at home & chairs that flip

Flip Chairs: Each of Daisuke Motogi’s candy-colored chairs can be flipped upside down or sideways to create new seating options. A high-backed chair becomes a low seat, or a lounger becomes a rocking chair. Come to think of it, it’s about time the rocking chair had a design makeover.

Speedskating Stadium: A new speed-skating stadium in Iznell, Germany recently won the award for best sports facility of the year from the World Architecture Festival. Sure, it looks a little bit like a mushroom from Mario Bros., but the building incorporates some very fancy “low-E” technology, which reflects the cold thermal radiation from the ice outside back to the track to maintain a low temperature.

High-Design at a Border Checkpoint: When I think about border checkpoints (not something I do all that often), the image that generally comes to mind is of ugly, taupe-gray buildings, men with German Shepherds and big fences. Clearly, I’m behind the times, because the border checkpoint at Sarpi between Turkey and Georgia is extremely cool. Shaped like a jigsaw puzzle, the structure has an overlook deck at the very top with smaller look-outs in between each curve.

Wine-Making at Home: I have a strangely large number of beer enthusiast friends who’ve purchased their own home brewing equipment, but I’ve never heard of a DIY winemaker. Designed by Sabine Marcelis, this elegant little chemistry set includes a funnel, stirrer, vile for hydrometer readings and a fermentation bin.

Shenzen Clubhouse: An 11,000 square foot “clubhouse” off the coast of Shenzen, China kicks the pants off the tennis/beach clubs my parents took me to as a child. Complete with a restaurant, gallery area and giant water installations, it’s too bad we non-members in the West won’t be able to take a peek inside. Well, maybe if you ask really nicely.