Environmentally Sound Waste Management

Of the big three ecological challenges, garbage, land use, and carbon, garbage is perhaps the most tractable. But what with sorting, streaming, and less frequent collection, home waste management has, of late, become something of a chore. It has also become a bit ugly. Here we offer a selection of attractive garbage receptacles that, while they won’t solve the crisis, will help to make the solution more aesthetically pleasing.


Clothespin Trash Can

? 2007: Hung-Ming Chen

An exceedingly clever design, the flexible spars of this plywood garbage bin adjust to allow one to reuse almost any size bag, paper or plastic. Simple, effective, and economical: get the original now and be justifiably smug when Ikea™ knocks it off at twice the price!



Garbo Eco Trash Can

? 1996: Karim Rashid cdnmapleleaf

Umbra has puts an eco-friendly spin on the 1997 Good Design Awards-winning Garbo trash can by Karim Rashid. Not only is the updated version made of 100% recycled plastic, it’s biodegradable and will likely break down in a landfill long before the garbage it once held.

Umbra Matte Blue Garbo (perfect for home office recycling): $12.95
Umbra Matte Green Garbino (makes a great bathroom organics bin): $7.95


Calypso Compost Bin

? 2008: Rosti Mepal in-house

From classic Dutch / Danish manufacturer Rosti, a compact and stylish lidded compost bin in stain-resistant, dishwasher-safe white melamine. At about 8″ in diameter, it is nicely proportioned for the typical downtown kitchen.


And while we’re on the subject of:


Alphabet City 11: Trash

? 2006: John Knechtel cdnmapleleaf

From the MIT Press, Trash is the eleventh edition of Toronto editor and culture martyr Jon Knechtel’s acclaimed multidisciplinary journal Alphabet City. In a visually arresting volume from undisputed Canadian book design champ, Gilbert Li, a series of high-profile writers, artists, and filmmakers investigate the proposition that we are what we throw away.

Alphabet City 11: Trash: $22.95


To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit our downtown Toronto location, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or e-mail us at: info@swipe.com.

In the Shadow of Mies, from Toronto to Seoul


Exploring Tectonic Space: The Architecture of Jong Soung Kimm

? 2009: Fritz Neumeyer & In Ha Jung

South Korea’s most respected architect, Jong Soung Kimm, spent his formative years in Chicago, first as a student at the Illinois Institute of Technology and, after graduation, as an associate in the studio of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Our interest in Kimm’s work stems from his role as principal architect on the Toronto-Dominion Centre Banking Pavilion (commonly credited to Mies himself), the central lobby of the T-D Centre, and the Centre’s 54th floor Reception Hall. Unfortunately, this book, which had its genesis in an exhibition held in 2006 at the Architecture Forum Aedes in Berlin, focuses exclusively on projects created subsequent to Kimm’s return to Seoul in 1978. On the other hand, Kimm’s work over the past thirty years is stunning, from the Weightlifting Gymnasium for the 1988 Seoul Olympics and the Sonje Museum of Contemporary Art in Kyongju to the Hotel Hilton International and the recently completed Headquarters of SK Corporation, both in Seoul. We would rather these works had been contextualized by the inclusion of material from Kimm’s time with Mies, but for those of us enamoured of Kimm’s Toronto work, at least now we know how the story ends. (2009: Stichting Kunstboek; ISBN 9783803006875)

Exploring Tectonic Space: The Architecture of Jong Soung Kimm: $59.95

Jong Soung Kimm at Aedes, October 2006, courtesy Architecture Forum Aedes


To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit our downtown Toronto location, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or e-mail us at: info@swipe.com.

Dinner with HAL

Given Arne Jacobsen’s current stature it is hard to imagine that prior to the present Modernist revival this seminal figure in Twentieth-Century industrial design and architecture was little remembered by non-specialists. In fact, just fifteen years ago if you were looking for Jacobsen’s famous Cylinda Line from Stelton in Toronto your only options were Swipe and the (now defunct) Scandinavian Shoppe on Danforth Avenue. Today the line is readily available around town so we carry only the brilliant little ashtray, Jacobsen’s personal favourite, as a token of respect and affection.


AJ Cutlery

? 1957: Arne Jacobsen

AJ cutlery was designed by Arne Jacobsen in 1957 for the restaurant in the Royal SAS Hotel in Copenhagen, a project on which he was also the architect. Manufactured in stainless steel by Georg Jensen, AJ has been in continuous production since it was designed. With its modern, simplified lines, AJ was deemed a sufficiently radical departure from traditional cutlery design that it was featured as a prop in the 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey.

AJ Knife (Serrated Edge): $41.95
AJ Dinner Spoon, Dinner Fork, Dessert Spoon, Luncheon Fork: $31.95
AJ Pastry Fork: $29.95
AJ Tea Spoon: $24.95
AJ Espresso Spoon: $21.95

AJ Cutlery Sets:

AJ 5 Piece Place Setting: $157.95
AJ 30 Piece Setting (for Six): $949.95

AJ Cutlery Serving Pieces:

AJ Serving Fork and Spoon: $127.95
AJ Gravy Ladle: $39.95
AJ Bouillon Spoon, Butter Knife: $36.95
AJ Two-Tined Serving Forks: $44.95
AJ Breakfast Spoon (set of 2): $59.95
AJ Café Latte Spoon (set of 2): $49.95
AJ Cake Server: $71.95


Stelton Cylinda Line Revolving Ashtray

? 1967: Arne Jacobsen

Jacobsen was a notorious pipe-smoker and this ashtray was, in his estimation, the most successful piece in his formative Cylinda Line from Stelton. We concur. Beautifully finished, the piece is a study in aesthetic geometry. Rotate the hemispherical bowl and ashes and cigarette butts drop neatly out-of-sight into the cylindrical base.

Small Revolving Ashtray: $89.95
Large Revolving Ashtray: $129.95

For those interested in Jacobsen’s career, an excellent hardcover monograph entitled Arne Jacobsen: Arkitekt and Designer published by the Danish Design Centre in 1996 is available at Swipe for $69.95.


To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit our downtown Toronto location, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or e-mail us at: info@swipe.com.

Wham-O! (Need We Say More?)

For Swipe’s annual Summer Amusement, we celebrate the 60th anniversary of a consistently successful brand-driven company. Throughout the 50′s and 60′s Wham-O™ had an unbelievable string of brand successes: first Frisbee,™ then Hula Hoop,™ and finally SuperBall™. Wham-O was also early to embrace television as a promotional medium and, with the help of a series of zany commercials, managed to maintain momentum through the 70′s and 80′s with products like Hacky Sack™ and Slip’N Slide™.


Wham-O Hula-Hoop

? 1958: Arthur K. (Spud) Melin & Richard Knerr

What set Wham-O apart from other post-war toy startups was their innovative use of plastics and pioneering use of modern marketing methods. In 1957 an Australian company was offering wood exercise hoops in American retail stores. The item attracted the attention of Richard Knerr and Arthur Melin, of Wham-O, who started manufacturing hoops out of Martex in a variety of bright colors. For months prior to Hula-Hoop’s release, Knerr and Melin promoted their product on Southern California playgrounds, where they would hold a demonstration and give a free hoop to the most co-ordinated boy and girl at each demonstration (rather cynically, they gave hoops to the most attractive boy and girl as well). When the product was finally launched in 1958 twenty million were sold for $1.98 in the first six months alone. Genuine Wham-O Hula-Hoops are still manufactured in Emeryville, Claifornia.

Original Wham-O Hula-Hoop in three sizes, each: $9.95


Wham-O Pluto Platter Glow-in-the-Dark Frisbe & Classic Frisbee

? 1955: Walter Frederick Morrison & Richard Knerr

Frisbee started life as a college pie-plate toss game (the name Frisbie sic. originates wtih a Connecticut bakery) which was developed into a patented product, the Pluto Platter by W. F. Morrison in 1955. Morrison’s collaboration with Wham-O began in 1957 with co-founder Richard Knerr quickly renaming the product Frisbee™ base on the colloquial name for the earlier pie plate game.

Wham-O Reflyer Frisbee

? 1955 (2009): Walter Frederick Morrison & Richard Knerr

Newly released for 2009, this 100% recycled polyethylene (60% post-consumer) version of the classic 110 g Fastback model is manufactured by Wham-O in their plant in Emeryville, Claifornia.

Original Wham-O Pluto Platter Glow-in-the-Dark Frisbee: $10.95
Original Wham-O Classic Frisbee: $3.99
Wham-O Reflyer Recycled Frisbee: $10.95


Wham-O SuperBall

? 1963: Norm Stingly & Richard Knerr

SuperBall was created as a collaboration between Wham-O and chemist Norm Stingly in 1963. The product is still made from Stingly’s hard synthetic black rubber, dubbed Zectro™ in Wham-O promotional speak, and, while there are prettier high-bounce balls on the market, nothing bounces higher.

Original Wham-O SuperBall: $1.99


To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit our downtown Toronto location, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or e-mail us at:info@swipe.com.