Saturday, October 31, 2009

Building form

A performance that I am hoping to see is the work of the Morphosis Ballet Company. Headed by Christopher Wheeldon, this brand spanking new company has some very radical ideas about making work, all projects are collaborations and some of the world's top talent is stirring the pot.

Friday, October 30, 2009

In New York

We are in NYC today and the weekend with students. One of the things I am really looking forward to is the
Tim Burton exhibition of his work and mostly drawings. A VERY accomplished draftsman, Burton is great for design teachers because you can point to him and say "see he draws all his ideas out and look at the results".

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Building the page

The work of Bruno Munari is the result of 100 years of educational insight. As a designer he made his work the work of play, designing children's books, toys and educational workshops that established children as the purest designers. It was said of him,"He was one big living toy". Look for his work.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Building Pink

The iteration of building toys derived from the work of Maria Montessori in Italy at the turn of the century. The toys are designed to enhance the "release of human potentialities". The Pink Tower is a favorite of designers. Designed to help the child visually understand the structural idea of "stacking" it is the toy that makes architects.......

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The first building toy

The first designed building toys were a series devised by German educator Friedrich Froebel in the 1840's. The series of twelve "gifts" were to be presented to the child during the kindergarten years and the lessons were built on as they developed. The intention was that the open ended objects would promote "free play" by the children.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Building cities-very little cities

Of course we have indulged in the Muji City in a Bag as well as the Country in a Bag. They are in Caleb's desk and he arranges them at will. Such an architect.....

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The building blocks

Sometimes I surprise myself that I have not written about something. Especially my deep love for building toys. One of my first jobs in design was making prototypes for toys. These are the best made now and before- the swiss company Naef. Their line has expanded but quality and pure beauty abound.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Building bluntly

Jens Fager's RAW furniture took the world by storm last year in the fairs rounds in Europe. This work is interesting in that the method is the aesthetic. Parts are carved via a band saw and then simply joined at obvious junctures. I of course wonder about the waste, but maybe they are carved from some great recycled resource? Nevertheless, Fager is developing a tidy sensibility.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Building imagery

I have been off my game this week due to looming might be a little rocky the next few weeks but bear with me. I did do a blog round and found some nice ideas in the air. Again Pia Jane Bijkerk showcase Leslie Oschmaan of Swarm Home. These very interesting , I guess decoupage dining chairs are made by Leslie; all sorts of ideas are coming out of her studio.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Thoughtful building

Recently on Remodelista they spoke of a new shop by the renowned designer Jasper Morrison. I will forever adore his work since I first saw his lovely book "A World Without Words" a really powerful study of images through the movements of early modernism. This chair is an example of the thoughtfulness in which he works. A chair designed for the Corbusier building La Tourette...It looks in perfect sympathy with the building

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Chairs drapes

Found on the ever fascinating blog Pia Jane Bijkerk; this photo shoot of Morgan Puett's Mildreds Lane shows off some nice "chair dressing". It looks like the chairs are draped because they are not so nostalgic.....and perhaps the need to hide some flaws. Puett is a master at up-cycling ANYTHING so these chairs have a new role in her orbit.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

dress chairs

One who has been dressing chairs since the 90's is Tord Boontje. This "witch" chair was one of the first in a world of chairs made for a fairy land. Enjoy his web site, a world of its own.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Dresses for chairs

I seem to be spotting many dresses for chairs this summer frock made from Volga Linen was seen on Remodelista last week. Are there patterns for such things? Clearly the New Orleans tradition of summer dresses must have had a way covers were done...such interesting research. And are all chairs able to be thought of in the feminine?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Let the Wild Rumpus Start!

I am very excited about this movie coming out this weekend. Madeline said she would go with me but she will not sit with me because she knows I will cry.......

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Building Lineage

Our trip to the renowned Rural Studio was quite fine. If you have a day where all you do is look at very well considered design projects its quite a gift. The territory that the Rural Studio inhabits is well traveled artistically, first by Walker Evans and James Agee and then by contemporary photographer
William Christianberry. This building is a Christianberry special, photographed by him over a number of years it stands as a quiet testament towards functionalism in the south......

Monday, October 12, 2009

Building Good

A very busy week ahead and first stop is a trip to The Rural Studio with my students. This is a new project, entitled Pattern Book House.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

building nature

Well, I'm still in Black and White mode......must be because the project I am working on is black and white drawings...oh well. I am missing sewing though and want to shift to some more soft chairs. This work by artist Tamar Mogendorff is inspiring, although I think one should sew giant coral........its just me.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Building whimsey

I looked through this crazy Italian furniture web site in an effort to rid myself of the "black and whiteitise" that was prevailing on the site but instead I ran into this bad its good. The line is called Creazioni and it clearly states, in Italian, that the furniture is mid way between theater and home design. It put me in a good mood.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Building Magic

I am so very captivated by South African artist William Kentridge. I feel like I have been living under a rock because I did not know about him. A master draftsman, he has moved through the some what boring gallery system of just making drawings for sale and has developed a world of animated films and Opera's. Go find him on You Tube and then go to work......And I can not wait until the March performance of The Nose at the MET.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Building Black and white

This an a new interior shot of the kitchens in the 21st street project-very black and white.......

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Little black chairs....

So this is why I have been looking at chairs that are black. I have been doing research and working on a project about Julia Dent Grant, Ulysses S. Grant's dear wife. The outcome as of now are these small sitting room chairs that I would design for her house on 62nd Street.
They would be black straight back chairs with skirt like drapes around the legs, inspired by her wonderful portrait by Matthew Brady.

Building Black coal.....

The true father of material as idea is the New York designer Jim Zivic. Even in his Burning Relic days -the forging of steel and the crafting of leather were his muse. These table/stools out of Anthracite Coal very clearly get to this "black as an idea".......beautiful simple ideas.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Simply building black

Tom Dixon's Slab chair introduced in Milan this fall is another diagram of structure-maybe using the posture of a person more than the least amount of material as a guide. Again black is used as a way to read the structure of the chair-ninja style........

Monday, October 5, 2009

Building Smoke

Maarten Baas is the the punk furniture designer who takes existing pieces, sometimes even precious existing pieces and "liberally fires' them. The result is some very provocative work. They illustrate an idea that its not the color black that is provocative but the MATERIAL of black that is interesting-how ever you get to it.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Building black chairs

After a white week, I am going to move on to a series of black chairs and the idea of black as a material. This is the wonderful Ikea Ellan chair (no longer available) by Chris Martin. I love this chair because it is basically a diagram of a chair, just lines drawn on a page to make a chair. And therefore, the amount of material is very minimal.

image by Rinne Allen

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Building Black

I am in Biloxi for the day and I got to pop into the George Ohr Museum Fall Festival of the Arts. For those of you that enjoy artisan pottery this is Mecca. I acquired two pieces from Bill and Pamela Clark of
Clarkhouse Pottery in Greenville, South Carolina. Beautiful matt black glazes and I found my perfect orange egg, or did it find me?

Friday, October 2, 2009

Chair building

Check out the wonderful article by
Sara Fernandez-Cendon in the on-line version of ReadyMade magazine. We talked about how the chairs got made. It was very fun to reconstruct the thinking process. Thanks Sara!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The un-white

This chair by up and coming designer Valentina Gonzalez Wohlers is a terrific bridge from the southern custom of "summer dress" to the super white traditional interior.....She correctly pays homage to Philippe Starck while talking about her work and then pushes all his ideas much further.