Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Building white out.............

So this chair came across my desk from Cranbrook student Hsin-chun Wang. So interestingly called "Chair Swallow Chair". Its an example of white chairs and how they could have so many other stories. See crazy design blog core 77 for more student work from Cranbrook- America's cutting edge in design education.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Building White

The "Summer Dress" for furniture came to mind because all over New Orleans were bright white Louis XIV side chairs. This seems to be the trend in traditional interiors for the next series I will show how its showing up in more cutting edge work. See Pied Nu web site for some lovely furniture ideas.....

Monday, September 28, 2009

Building Cool

These images were hard won but there are from the historic James Gallier House in New Orleans. I did not get there again this trip but it will be on the agenda next....This images show the custom of "summer dress" when the temperature rises, slipcovers are put on chairs, drapery is taken down and light sheers are installed and carpets are stored and grass mats replace them. I vaguely remember my neighbor going through such motions but it must have felt nice to sit on cotton muslin rather than needlepoint or horse hair on a humid hot afternoon....makes so much sense. I am fascinated with this idea of passive solar decor.......

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Building sweet tooths

We had a great trip down to NOLA and back this weekend. One thing the we indulged in was dessert at Sucre. The ultimate sweets shop, I was really impressed with almost the UN-designed quality of the space.
Lee Ledbetter and Assoc. got the Parisian or Rome sweet shop down where the diva in the space is the chocolates and macaroons not the fancy tables and over the top ceiling treatment-way to have restraint...

Friday, September 25, 2009

Story building

When Maira Kalman does a NYT blog post all the world rejoices. I ,of course, am tickled that I posted this very room this week from New York's City Hall

Beautiful Buildings,beautiful city

We are heading down to NOLA to meet Caleb. His students are studying housing this term and they are touring the Make it Right and Global Green and the Tulane studios....Amazing work being done down there! This is an image of a Victorian house on the upper side of the Ninth Ward......Two such houses survived Katrina-amazing things happened in the world.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Building designers

A very long time ago, designer Mary Chan was a student of mine at Parsons. She was in one of my first classes so we have stayed in touch. I was jumping out of my chair today when I saw that she was featured in the
New York Times! Such an elegant job, keep it up!

Building Great girls.....

Madeline thinks Frank Lloyd Wright is the bomb....Mostly because of a beloved book by Blue Balliett
The Wright 3. This story has three Hide Park kids unlocking the secrets of the Robie House. Now her parents are Corb people, but my dear daughter's next architectural pilgrimage will be to Chicago to see the Master's work.....

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Building softness

This design object is a compromise between mother and daughter.....When we discussed well designed furniture Madeline insisted that a Bean Bag chair is an important design innovation. So she asked be to blog about them. I found them wanting in quality and and intrinsic I suggested this Fatboy chair from Marimekko again, it would have the same way cool vibe and yet be functional for other members of the family?
She sort of likes it?

Building girls part 1

When I first started C&B my daughter Madeline was much more part of the conversation. She has gotten older and her desire to hang with Mommy has diminished...sad but I guess I am doing my job. On a car trip last week I asked her what design ideas and concepts she really likes and I will share those this week. The first one is a common guilty pleasure; we both love clean modern shapes and colors and on our first trip to Oxford Mississippi we almost had a car wreck when we saw the Marimekko store just off the square! We indulge in small things, coin purses and bags...but we do dream of a teenage room with Marimekko wallpaper!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Building history

I came across this image of Jaime Drake's renovation of New York's City Hall and I was quite taken with it. There is something very American in this room; things are well made and respectful-the color even being a homage to Washington's Mount Vernon....and there is a hint of modernist functionalism in that the furniture in the room is just there to work not to look pretty-no excess. Let's bring back that attitude.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Building right

One of the most interesting design firms coming out of Mississippi is Greenwood's Beard +Riser. When in Greenwood you can peak into there storefront studio and swoon over their reception/gallery space. Their web site shows some of the best use of making space with vernacular materials anywhere....

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Building Art

Cleverly incorporated into the opening of the 21st Street Building is a group show curated by Vanessa Juriga and Tony Orrico. This is a beautiful image from the show by Ian Trask. If you have a minute this afternoon the building is open and the artist reception is 4-8pm. 272 21st Street Brooklyn, NY......

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Building movement

I would like to alert you to some very strong work by Austrian designer Konstantin Schmolzer. An Eindoven graduate he tackles the problem of wanting your furniture to have more personality. See his web site and click on the project Sedes Cohorresco.......and see how you feel about the relationship you have with Your chairs??

Friday, September 18, 2009

Building Nature

I am confused and fascinated by the work of Neri Oxman using Biomictry computer output. A MIT Phd graduate, she proposes form that will be "shaped" into urban space. She says "forget about what it looks like, think about how it behaves..."

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Today is the opening of the 21st Street project in Brooklyn. Four long years have been a huge mountain for great building talent Andrew Giancola, but it is now complete. Thank you Andy for pushing the vision forward.........

Building Haptic.....

I came upon this very beautiful table designed by textile designer Reiko Sudo. Keep in mind that she maintains that she designs only the texture of her fabric with no end use in mind -this piece is merely a texture on legs for her...This piece is for an exhibition curated by
Kenya Hara entitled Haptic.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Building sitting

I am getting more and more interested in work that is almost "un-designed". Work purely of out of its function OR material. Case in point, these funny Nobody Chairs by danish design studio Komplot. Using a process of laminating a felt mat onto a shell of 100% recycled soda bottles-the utilitarian becomes a character through very simple means...Casper chairs.......Boo!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Building humor that works......

I came upon this work by the studio electricwig from Northern Ireland. Partners Johanna Van Daalen and Tim Denton do wonderful work with and for community workshops, children and exhibitions as well as commissions for Muji and the like. I really enjoy their hyper-function approach.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The interior of a wall....

One of the more interesting artists at the Ole Miss Motel show was Memphis based Rebekah Laurenzi. I checked out her web site and found this really interesting installation entitled the "Molecular Structure of a Wall". Pencils anyone?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Table building

The work of William Forsythe has been a huge inspiration for me and my work. He is a master at a total work. I have discovered you can view dance works on You Tube and I would like to bring this piece entitled "one flat thing, reproduced" to my furniture design class-what would such inspiration produce?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Building cover.....

Ah just when I thought I was being clever by upholstering entire chairs I come across this work of
Joseph Beuys called "Homogeneous Infiltration for Piano",1966. I am humbled.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

a lot of building

If your in NYC do not miss this show that opens Thursday. A survey of artist/architect Allan Wexler. The father of "furniture as medium" movement-he has been a strong inspiration to many of us to "do good work and be a good person". Good Luck Allan!

Monday, September 7, 2009

building drapery....

This has been my "break" the house, my desk, and just general casting about ideas. The most absorbing thing I came to was this blog site of the Textiles Futures Research Group at the University of the Arts, London. A group of PHD candidates use the blog much like I do- a virtual bulletin board of musings, ideas and announcements. This is a award winning competition entry for a sculptural curtain-you know I love this.......

So Sorry, I can not seem to get this blog to link-but go to and look for PHD candidates....

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Wrap building

Hidden deep in an old Marie Claire Maison magazine I found a very intriguing chair by Netherlands designer Ineke Hans. She has been working with the material that are for casts for broken bones and making wonderful textile-like furniture. While looking at her web site note a depth of work and a commitment to furniture for children-lovely.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Building sensibility

And this is my favorite image of the whole lot. It really talks about the intensity of the last month.......

Building the morning after.......

Here are some images of the furniture after the party........

Roomaking in room 342

As you know we took the show on the road this week and took work to Oxford for the 3rd Annual One Night Stand in the Ole Miss Hotel orchestrated by Erin Austin Abbot. I stitched and stitched my way through the world of Hotel/Motelnise And this was the result + list of works

Six Attributes of Mapping

1-Bedcover 1-Places I’ve been

2-Bedcover 2-The Map to Waverly Plantation;

as Told by a Modernist

3-Chair Group- Walker Evans Builds a Chair:

four chairs built in the conceit of Walker Evans

4-Wing Chair-Mapping Rowan Oak again…..

5-Yellow Chair-The Advent of Mrs. Welty Garden

6-Loveseat-Marie Antoinette’s Gardens

Thursday, September 3, 2009

building thoughts

I may be heads down but life goes on here at Little Building Cafe and Starkville. This weekend is First Fridays organized by Cre8tive Warehouse. We are hosting Starkville newcomer, Jude Landry. And of course I could not resist his poster of a Mark Twainism......

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

building work

I have been a bad blogger lately, mostly because I have been working on a large body of new work. I am proud to be a part of this show up in Oxford on Thursday. Entitled The One Night Stand at the Ole Miss Motel , impresario Erin Austin Abbott has a truly original way of producing shows. She has asked 10 artists to bring work up to Oxford and they each get their own room-to do with -what they will. The company I am keeping is very interesting, check out Katharyn Addcox's work as well as Francis Berry. You will be the first to see the pictures of the installation.