kHyal + Karl


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Karl joins FIT Faculty

AUGUST 2014 | Karl Heine recruited to Fashion Institute of Technology faculty

Karl Heine joins FIT Faculty

Starting this week, Karl will be teaching at FIT.  His class, “Starting a Small Business” is aimed at Packaging Designers. Karl was brought in to elevate the program and develop a new syllabus geared towards real world business practices for working as a packaging designer, then growing that skill set toward launching a packaging design firm in the future.
Karl’s recent election to the board of the Type Directors Club and role as Membership Chair will enhance student learning experiences, as will frequent visiting speakers from major design studios and brands, and TDC events featuring elite packaging design firms such as Stranger and Stranger.

A Post Wearable Tech Expo Meandering on Fashion, Form and Technology

Health and fitness wearables took center stage at Wearable Tech Expo New York. While I’ve tried a few, including funding the original Misfit Kickstarter campaign to obtain the first iteration of the Shine, along with more mainstream products like NikeFuel, these offerings continue to make me ask “what’s next?”

Smart watches were a central thrust of the Wearable Tech Conference, but like Google Glass and competitive products, they aren’t yet meant to replace your phone or computer, just to augment their use with additional capabilities.

While innovators are driving hard to move these technologies forward, the mainstream balk at the expense, lack of functionality and geeky style. Instead, enterprise solutions will lead the way for wearables and trickle down to consumers to what is said by some to become a 50 billion dollar industry.

Meanwhile technology companies are smartening up fast to fill the design void and hiring fashion experts to create products with mass appeal. In February, Fitbit announced Tory Burch for Fitbit for its Fitbit Flex accessory collection. In March, Google sealed a strategic partnership with Italian eyewear giant Luxottica that hopefuls feel will pave the way for a new market in smart glasses. And, in June, smart device company Withings announced the release of Activité — the first Swiss made watch with a built-in activity tracker for Fall 2014.

The women of Wearable Tech Expo were more plentiful than expected, as presenters, and attendees. Keynote speaker Myriam Joire, Chief Product Evangelist at Pebble — formerly from Engadget — gave us the skinny on smart watch technology and its current challenges. Nicole Tricoukes, Senior Maverick at Motorola Solutions Wearable Tech shared the nuts and bolts of designing for enterprise solutions. Linda Franco, Co-founder, Machina rocked her presentation of the MIDI Jacket. And, Dr. Sabine Seymour of Moondial showed off her sonic fabric Soundperfume project and other avant-garde concepts. Last but not least, I met the talented designer Sarah Angold in a corridor off the beaten track, who had just arrived from London. I’m still thinking about the incredible math-influenced laser cut acrylic necklace she wore.

All and all, these events are getting more interesting and inclusive. Although I’ve blended my own influences in the summary above, #wearabletechcon featured a diverse mix of the internet of things. However, I noticed a distinct lapse in attendance during what I considered the most interesting sessions involving art, music and fashion, which proves that this event could benefit from a farther reaching marketing and PR effort to include a broader demographic.

Related posts on tech and fashion:


kHyal featured on Knotwe — Surface Designers to Watch

JULY 2014 | Knotwe

11 FiberArtists/Textiles/SurfaceDesigners to Watch

tour de force of energy and creative vivaciousness. kHyal is an innovator impervious to boundaries. The work pulsates with infectious energy deftly combining visual cues that strike many chords. Her work is featured internationally.

kHyal featured on Knotwe

European Road Trip | Summer 2014

Photos by Karl Heine.

JUNE 2014 | Germany, Switzerland, Italy, France

Our Summer 2014 European road trip included a loop around Germany, Switzerland, France, and Italy — where we participated in Art Basel, stopped in at the Cannes Lions, met with international partners and explored art, design and culture.

I debuted my MegaGlam “I Do What I Want” action apparel at the preview of Art Basel, making the rounds to the main show, Design Miami/ Basel, Liste, Scope, 14 Rooms and later attending the Swiss Design Awards. A blend of street fashion and performance art, the work relies on interaction and impromptu, unexpected mashups with physical space, art, design and other humans — which Karl is kind enough to document. At Scope, we dropped off a batch of Weather sKwirl paintings to our gallery friends at C-Arte, which will ultimately find themselves on the exhibition walls of Solange Guez Contemporary Art in Buenos Aires. And, we were featured in CC’s Lifestyle’s Streetstyle picks.

During Art Basel week, our basecamp was in Zurich by way of Düsseldorf, where we explored the scene, visited with an artist friend from the US, and photographed street art, street life, architecture and decay.

We took a train from Zurich to Milan for three days of design exploration, which included an obligatory stop at Duomo di Milano — plus, the Fashion District, Brera Design District, and Leo Burnett Milan. We loved seeing Cracking Art Group’s “L’arte Rigenera L’arte” installation at Castello Sforesco and our visit to the Triennale di Milano where we took in ”Italian Design Beyond the Crisis,” “No Name Design,” and “Italian Design Icons.” The museum’s lobby also houses a permanent showroom for our friends at Materials ConneXion — the most extensive research center for innovative and sustainable materials — which Karl is a New York member of, and where we will both be on the materials jury in mid-July.

After our time in Milan, we rented a little Fiat and headed to the French Riviera, visiting Monaco, Nice, Antibes, Cannes, Sainte-Maxime, Saint-Tropez, Hyéres and Toulon. We arrived in Cannes just in time for the tail end of the Cannes Lionsthe world’s biggest celebration of creativity in communications — where our hotel beach had been taken over by Google and we met other creative professionals from around the globe while dipping our toes into the cooling ocean where the main festival venue sits on its own little beach.

After three days in Cannes, we headed to Toulon along the coast to Saint-Tropez, then through the mountains, on some of the steepest, narrowest, hairpin-turn roads we’ve ever experienced. My attempts at photographing this adventure didn’t do it justice, but Karl’s expert driving skills came in handy. Even the flat straight sections of this leg our trip were filled with narrow roads married to deep ditches on either side, but the ever changing terrain and dozens of vineyards we drove past provided eye candy to be thankful for. At last we landed in Toulon, where we had a meeting the follow day, so drove a bit further down the coast the stay at the port of La-Seyne-sur-Mer which was one of our favorite unexpected destinations. We spent hours in the charming streets photographing our favorite street art, architecture, signage and decay. Unlike most of our other destinations, there were no tourist attractions, luxury shopping or chain stores, which we truly appreciated.

Our visit to Blackbody was a thrilling scientific adventure. We stumbled upon the company in our own backyard, just a short walk from our office in Manhattan last year. Because of Karl’s passion for lighting design, the new showroom windows on Greene Street drew him to investigate which is how we met Steven, US Sales Director, and later founders Bruno and Alessandro. Karl has worked with LED lighting for years, and started using Philips OLED product as soon as they became available, but after a visit to Philips U.S. Headquarters last year, we were disheartened by the lack of creativity and innovation in the OLED sector. Blackbody brings some of the world’s top designers together to work with their pioneering OLED technology to produce an array of high-end design lighting, luxury accessories and automotive solutions for premium international brands. Our tour of the clean room, design, and production facilities was one of the highpoints of our trip. And, we got to wear Tyvek suits and surgical masks, which is my kind of DEVO space age throwback fashion.

Our next meeting was a few days off in Fabriano, Italy, so we left Blackbody in Toulon, France and headed northwest along the coast and through Genoa. We landed in Florence that afternoon not having any idea it was Festa della Cultura San Giovanni Battista, Firenze. Our hotel was footsteps away from many of the main attractions including Michelangelo’s David, and the two fake ones. Although we explored the mainstream streets, we also headed off the beaten track after visiting the Florence Design Academy. Thanks to our artist friend Clio Newton, who we visited in Zurich, we knew about the Museo di Storia Naturale “La Specola” — a magical place including ten rooms of anatomical wax figures from 1656 through the 1700s. Although it was just down the street from where thousands of tourists swarmed, there was only a handful of other visitors at this charming museum.

We went to Fabriano for a meeting with one of our materials partners, a supplier to Karl’s cottage company DesignerJournals. But with Fabriano, came the Museo della Carta e della Filigrana, housing some of the oldest presses we’d ever seen carved from logs, dozens of watermarks, and holding live demonstrations of paper making and watermarking using ancient techniques. The watermark was founded in Fabriano over 900 years ago. That’s pretty cool, even for a pixel-lover like me. (Karl loves paper, so we are a well-balanced pair.)

After leaving Fabriano, we were headed to Bologna, a good stopping point before our next morning’s plan to be in Venice. However, we saw the ocean from the Autostrade, and longed for the sea, so we randomly chose an exit and drove immediately toward the water, where we found plenty of parking and one of the best (and cheapest) seafood and pasta meals of our life in a little outdoor café on the edge of the beach in Marotta, a coastal village located by the Adriatic Sea. When we happened upon it, it was mellow and beautiful, an un-crowded welcome respite. We didn’t have much energy left by the time we reached our hotel in Bologna on the outside of town. Luckily the hotel restaurant was also above average like all of the food seems to be in Italy. And, the drive through the Italian countryside with its miles of sunflower fields and old farmhouses was postcard perfect.

1500+ miles later, we landed in Venice for Karl’s birthday, and stayed two nights before heading back to New York, in Sant’Elena. It was great to turn in our car and travel by water taxi and on foot. Our hotel was once an original Venetian convent and had two sweeping marble spiral staircases off the lobby and a courtyard garden. Sant’Elena is the greenest part of Venice with a beautiful waterside park, and is very peaceful. A great place to escape the hoard of tourists, yet only a twenty minute walk to anything else you’d want to see. Highlights of our time in Venice included: the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Museo della Musica, Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, and my favorites — fundamentals biennale architettura and Palazzo Franchetti Lisson Gallery and the current exhibition Genius Loci — Spirit of Place. It was also fantastic to meet architect Fred Van Brandenburg from New Zealand during the reception of his show “Unfurlings” which showcased the design models he created for the Marisfrolg Fashion Headquarters in Shenzhen.


Basel, Switzerland:

Milan, Italy:

French Riviera:

Florence, Italy:

Fabriano, Italy:


Hotels we recommend:



SoNo Spaces Featured on The Whiteboard

MAY 2014 | The Whiteboard

Reposted from The Whiteboard, advancing entrepreneurship in Connecticut.

Stamford Area Coworking Is Diverse and Growing

By Kim Demers

Coworking is not new to the startup, freelance or techie world. There are more than 780 in the United States (when there was one in 2005), and the trend is growing in all corners of Connecticut. 

Last week, The Whiteboard talked with Katherine Warman Kern of COMRADITY, Karl Heine of SoNo Spaces and Sarah Robinson and Peter Propp of The Stamford Innovation Center and WorkSpace Stamford – four prominent voices in the coworking community in southwestern Connecticut, and members of The Business Council of Fairfield County’s Shared Workspace Initiative.

For many, coworking is the future of how we work.

Why? People are tired of working in cubicles. Coffee shops can get loud and crazy. And, at a certain point, working from home doesn’t work – it can be isolating and then there are distractions. Raise your hand if kids, a pet or spouse hovering near your workspace has ever hurt your productivity.

These are the main reasons why coworking got started, and why the number of shared workspaces has grown substantially in the last two years.

Coworking helps indie businesses, freelancers and startups recapture the best benefits of an office environment, specifically, community, collaboration and inspiration, without giving up the best perks of working for yourself: flexibility, independence and doing what you love to do.

Each place has its own vibe. The beauty of coworking is that it can come in different stripes. Some spaces accept everyone. Many other coworking communities are specialized on entrepreneurs and business startups, innovation, social enterprise or creative professionals, for example.

These spaces are stimulating, inspiring, and fun. Members love to come to work and stay for the increased levels of productivity and community. A community that is helping to grow the local economy.

If you’re starting to think you might need a change of scenery and live in the Stamford area, consider these shared spaces, only some of the 12+ in Fairfield County:

SoNo Spaces

SoNo Spaces, is a vibrant place in the heart of historic South Norwalk, or SONO as it is affectionately referred to, for creative professionals to find their ah-ha moment.

SoNo Spaces
It looks cool, because it is cool.

“We created an open-share environment as an extension of the way our own work styles have evolved,” says Karl Heine, who runs SoNo Spaces with his wife kHyal. The couple had begun to work remotely, from places like Paris and Berlin, and became interested in the share culture cultivating in New York because of the rising cost of real estate.

“We believe there’s a pretty tightly woven relationship between inspiration and education,” Heine said. “Over the years, we’ve hosted New York guests for collaborative events, workshops and talks on a range of topics, including gourmet typography and hand lettering through Push Workshops, as well as special events to bring together the creative community.”

Long before Hurricane Sandy, their North Main Street space had already become an inspiring and trusted gathering place for Norwalk’s creative community. When many were out of power during the storm, Karl and kHyal opened their door to any professional in need of space and a place to charge laptops and phones at no cost. And, SoNo Spaces quietly opened later that year.

Its location close to I-95, Norwalk Harbor and the Long Island Sound, combined with its architectural authenticity, have made SONO a vibrant, thriving community to work, live and play. It’s also a cultural mecca filled with highly-skilled creative talent. SoNo spaces offer access to this creative marketing community, including those in the design, interactive, creative services and tech sectors. The space has been a magnet for businesses that want easy access to recruit top-quality talent, and creative professionals that want to grow alongside like-minded individuals.

SoNo Spaces provide all the technical amenities, as well as hosting a creative, idea-rich environment that inspires networking and collaboration. They offer desk space or private offices on a relatively short-term basis. It is a less expensive and flexible option – and not more space than an entrepreneur or startup team would need.

Walking distance from the Metro North train station, SONO makes it easy to toggle between New York, Connecticut and Boston. Blazingly fast high-speed WiFi, secure 24/7 access, use of their swanky lounge and an open and friendly environment to co-mingle are just a few more of the available perks at SoNo Spaces. Click here for more information.

See the full article here.

creativeplacement promo wins in FPO Awards

FPO Awards | Creative Placemints by creativeplacement

Proud to have worked with Karl on this fun project!

The FPO Awards is a judged competition organized by UnderConsideration, celebrating the best print work from around the world during 2012 – 13. The FPO Awards reward the most successful combinations of design and print production. A panel of five judges convened in Austin, TX on June 21, 2013 to collectively select the 111 winning entries to be included in this website and a printed book, published and distributed by UnderConsideration.

FPO Awards Creative Placemints



cre­ative­place­ment pro­vides 25 years tal­ent of sus­tain­able solu­tions. Our exper­tise is in pack­ag­ing, print, inter­ac­tive, and adver­tis­ing pro­fes­sion­als. Senior level through emerg­ing tal­ent build­ing brands, agen­cies and design firms through­out the greater New York Metro area.


We wanted to show off the metal­lic nature of our illus­trated type. Foil stamp­ing was the only option.


We’ve always loved humor in mar­ket­ing and adver­tis­ing and we’re not immune to play­ing with words our­selves. So we bring you “Cre­ative Placem­ints”, a deli­cious play on words. The label needed a styl­ish retro feel with a mod­ern twist. We used Ter­raskin for the sub­strate, which is highly sus­tain­able. The main focus was to high­light the illus­trated type with cop­per foil to achieve our desired effect. The matte var­nish allowed the label to dis­ap­pear so it looked like it was directly printed on the tin.

See the orignal post here.

Inside 3D Printing Expo New York 2014

Yesterday I attended the expo segment of MediaBistro’s Inside 3D Printing at the Jacob Javitz Center in New York. Perhaps I was jaded by having been at 3D Print Show, a European trade show that made its debut in New York in February at the Metropolitan Pavilion, or maybe it was the bleak corporate abyss of the Javitz Center, but I left feeling uninspired. BigRep, the Berlin-based large format 3D printer company was not present, nor were the students from Slovenia who founded Print GREEN, a laser printer that uses grass as its medium, both companies have bold ideas and a unique perspective. It felt reminiscent of a tiny slice of the medical device shows that Karl and I sometimes attend, but with less of the innovation. (Yes, we sometimes attend medical device trade shows because we love science put into action through innovative product design.)

Then it all made sense. On my train ride home, I flipped through the copy of TCT + Personalize included in the expo materials I received at registration, which is about 3D printing, additive manufacturing and product development. Inside the back cover in the CTRL-ALT-DEL section was an article entitled “Will 3D printing fall victim to its own popularity?” by Rose Brooke. In summary, Brooke points out that the speed at which 3D printing has been popularized has put it at risk for an exodus from “cool.” Agreed. Since Karl and I have been involved with 3D printing for over six years, we are not particularly wowed by seeing dozens of examples of 3D printed bunnies, for instance. And, yesterday, I felt like I was walking down aisles of offerings that were essentially the same in slightly different boxes, with slightly different functionality, competing like the commodities they are becoming. Because of volume in choice, and the race to lower pricing, it doesn’t feel like the right time to purchase our next printer. It feels like a time to let the competitors battle it out while we watch and learn from a distance. And, as usual for us, we find the Europeans do everything better when it comes to design and style — including trade show design, so in comparison to 3D Print Show, this event was just not interesting. I snapped a few photos of the more ambitious products showcased, like a 3D printed drum set and a 3D printed hot metal car, but the sophistication of the designs was lacking. Yes, it’s amazing technology, but WHY does everything produced this way have a predictable sameness, almost as if created all by the same person? We know this will change, too. And, we can’t wait.

See my previous post about about 3D Print Show here.

Don’t let my opinion sway you, investigate the sponsors and exhibitors virtually on your own, here:

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