Saturday, February 28, 2009

Building Myths

I had to share this wild image from the Latvian City of Riga. This comes up when searching for prime examples of Art Nouveau. Evidently, Riga was a hotbed of Art Nouveau activity at the turn of the 19th century. One of the characteristics of Art Nouveau is that it owes nothing to historical images but it clearly owes something to the world of myth and epic tales....wonderful.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Building expressions.....

I am slowly getting to modernism in the history class. The bridge from classicism to modernism is the
Art Nouveau movement. The finest examples of this style are in Brussels due to the work of Victor Horta. Check out the web site for his house museum and you will forever want a "whiplash" in your decor........

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

garden furniture.......

I am finishing the Marie Antoinette work soon (well maybe not soon) but I came across this piece of Margaret Elman who re-fashions (rather than re-purposes) french antiques with very new fabrics.....So chic!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


One of the treats of teaching the history of design is that I find myself being MORE fascinated by the spaces and designers I thought I did not like. Art Nouveau,Deco and the like being styles that make me uncomfortable..... But in order explain the work of Fauvist painters I looked to Charles Rennie Mackintosh's Willow Tea Rooms for explanation. As the art world was charging course forever during the early 19th century-design was making small steps to modernism.
The tea rooms are amazing examples of the 'total work"-Mackintosh designed everything from the menu to the servers uniforms. I even like the purple used in this space????

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Building bulk

I found this via treehugger. And I promise this is the last Eindhoven graduate that I will look at this week. But Frank Willems was fascinated by the process of mattress reclamation and developed a technique to use the material to a beautiful end. Coating the reclaimed mattress with hypoallergenic coating and then using a "soft" paint for the finish makes for a a very virtuous piece and humorous... The series is titled "Madame Rubens".Check Spelling

Friday, February 20, 2009

Building real fun....

Okay, Only a few ways to express myself on this bloody cute! And check out the web site -the picture of the designer...well he's cute too! Pepe Heykoop says he "likes telling stories with products". Three guesses were he went to school.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Building Glass

Remember when I was looking for signs of Hope in the design world? Well its been a rough couple of months but I am going to get back to that task and find a series of furniture that exhibit a new way of making things. The work of Alison Berger has always fascinated me. This is a glass work stool that has all the qualities of pragmatism and transparency. There is a great article about her in American Craft magazine this month.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Hand Building

Felt is an interesting material because in and of itself it can be hand made. So these walls that we see are impressive in their scale and exciting in their control. I do not really allow myself a small decorative objects but last year I was so captivated by the process and result of the California Studio Papaver Vert that I own three very small very beautiful "Rothkoesque" pillows for my couch. These nesting bowls could fine some real use in my home.....

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Building Material

At the Cooper Hewitt show I am anxious to see the work of Canadian studio FeltStudio. Lead by Kathryn Walter the work is a series of products and collaborations that embrace felt as the drive mechanism. From the previews of the show this work is the most architectural/spacial of the participants. the show opens on March 6th, 2009.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Soft landscapes

One of the first people to work with felt was Paola Lenti. About ten years ago there was a great rush in the interior design industry to find Non-woven materials.
Lenti developed a vocabulary of felt furniture that was essentially a landscape of low to the ground chaises and poufs. At the time a striking comment of materiality and a striking comment on furniture use and room making.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Soft Design

Yatzer announced the upcoming Cooper-Hewitt Show Fashioning Felt. The show will feature some very influential designers, in particular Claudy Jongstra a Dutch superstar. Since felt is a material I am fascinated by I am going to play curator and post artist and designers work that I have looked to to see how to employ the material.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Heart Buildings

Caleb draws a Valentine for Madeline and I every Valentine's Day. We have quite a nice collection now. I thought I would share last years and tomorrow we will have some new ones. Happy Valentines!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Crafting worlds

Another artist that people might might be looking is the director Julie Taymor. The auteur of the Disney production of the Lion King her less commercial endeavors are some of my favorite film experiences, Titus and Frida. What I look at with her work is the total control that she can master out of a project, the costumes, the characters and total visual manipulation of the characters and all packaged in a beautifully crafted concert.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

World making 1

I wonder if the artists who I have found down here have looked at the work of Korean artist Yeondoo Jung? His 2005 project titled Wonderland is a journey inside the mind children's drawings. Jung took children's drawings and made precise installations in order to fulfill the image...then photographed them. What does it say about me that I am fascinated by spaces being made with no scale or no gravity????

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

World Building too

Beverly Hayman is a young artist graphic designer that I came upon totally by accident this past week. But her work seems to fit in the very light line between art and craft. I love these images of hers Book birds, recycled clouds, fabric birds going on vacation.... I would love to see her internal movie........her web site is awesome......

Monday, February 9, 2009

Building Worlds as well....

The new show at the The Cre8tive Warehouse in Starkville is really striking. A full on assault of ideas, icons and ideologies are rendered on the premier walls of the warehouses' studio. Maker Jayson Tripplett has the energy of military unit and there you are in his world...... I love this tenacious space making and hope that something I see more of as I learn more about the work being done here in Mississippi.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Read First

I am starting in on this book Thinking Through Craft by Glenn Abramson today and it really might be the road for me as far as some questions that I have had about the "craft" movement in general and what is going on in art and design schools and with young artist. This week I will show some work that dovetails with the things I am reading. The notion that jumps out at me is that Adamson frames the work of craft in terms of the larger art world. One reviewer found that problematic but I think it is the right question to ask.

Friday, February 6, 2009

World Building

This is work by a young russian artist Antufev Evgeniy. I came upon his work through another blog-to-even another blog. The stories he makes are haunting and beautiful.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A useful wall

My friend Mark Naden made things beautiful image of prayer stools in a space in Vienna. You know how I am about furniture and walls.....

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Form, form, form?

These are some images I came upon while looking at other design blogs. The white chair from dutch designer Els Woldhek made from scrap leather brings the whole issue of "form" to a whole new light and then the other by Oslo design student Camilla Hounsell Halvorsen is from recycled upholstery scrapes. They are both very unattractive and I mean that in the nicest way!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Little Building Cafe Blog

Okay, I have been working long and hard to get the Little Building Cafe blog up and running. It's not exactly how we want it yet but we will all work through the tiny adjustments, I hope. This new blog will serve as a almost daily update of what Ted is preparing at LBC, what we are getting from farmers and what we hope to get from farmers...Also it will serve as a way to talk about the community and our interests and work in the community. I hope to also feature role models from the culinary world as well as cool work being done to promote sustainablity and yes some design thoughts as well. Please let me know what you think as we get this off the ground.

photo by rinne allen

Building with Light

This is a beautiful architecture project by my favorite contemporary architect David Adjaye. This studio building designed for artists Lorna Simpson and James Casebere. This is one of the only buildings where get space envy...

Monday, February 2, 2009

Building Monocrome

I was trying to find images of Louise Nevelson's home but collected these space making works instead. My friend Alana pointed out how similar visually they look to Sir John Soane's atrium. Nice comparison.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Building Drapery

I have been researching the life and work of Candace Wheeler. She is probably the first (we must check our dates) professional interior designer. She was a renowned expert on textiles and embroidery when Louis Tiffany started Associated Artists and enrolled her in the enterprise. She was responsible for the textiles and embroidered work for the Armory Library and the Mark Twain House. Her wallpaper work is still available through the Burrows Studio.

Building smooth

I spotted these great Tom Dixon felt pendants on his web site. Felt is a really compelling material.. I am trying to figure out how to make the cushions for LBC with just felt pads rather the whole pillow party?