Thursday, December 31, 2009

Building a New Year!

We lost Mr. Cunningham this year but when our friend Elizabeth Davies passed along this picture I thought is was the most forward looking image I have seen in a long while. Let's all leap forward with only the very special chairs on your back.....Happy New Year Annie

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

building-A Major and a Miner

We visited our dear friend Serban Ionescu in Greenpoint at the first of the week. He gave us a tour of his most recent project- A Major and A Miner. An architectural puzzle for five people which resides in a loft space. Serban's partners in crime are Justin Smith, Jim Dietlein aka "The Objectionists" and building support from Narek Gevorgian and Brian Nemeth. Serban served some Polish pink tea-which I will always now associate with formal precision....

building peace

We finally got to take a walk in Brooklyn's Greenwood Cemetery this trip. We have been working in this neighborhood for four years and have never gotten to take the time. It is an extraordinary place. An architectural history lesson with styles ranging from Gothic to Brooklyn Polshek Brand Modern and a little 19th century Chrystal Palace across the street at the convenient florist......

building deep

New York was full of surprises this trip. We did not follow the "plan" this time and we saw wonderful things . While seeing the Nutcracker (again) at Lincoln Center what do I spy in the lobby-a lobby I love more as Lincoln Center makes corporate- like changes-more later-BUT a beautiful Lee Bontecou piece. Absolutely giant-10-12 feet long. One can stick their head in one of her deep rabbit wholes. I was thrilled so special to be so close to such great work. Go visit it.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Building stories

I didn't get to show this piece completed before Christmas because it was a gift. The chair was the recipients grandmother's and I worked from Eudora Welty's story The Optimist's Daughter. The recipient is a wonderful woman who reminds me of the characters of "The Bridesmaid's"-the group of women that you grew up with who in all times of crisis whisk in with pound cake and tomato aspic for funerals to hip surgery.....This chair is a homage to such love and community.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Building visits

So we leave for Brooklyn in the morning. I want to see the Droog Store in Soho, the new Cooper Union building, the new Museum of Chinese in America and this little show at Art Since 1969 gallery with Mary Heilman furniture. And the Crawford family tradition of seeing the Neapolitan baroque creche at the Metropolitian. Oh! I forgot to say-see you next year- Happy Holidays!!!!!!!!! Annie

Saturday, December 19, 2009

building light 2

This is from Martha Stewart Mag this month.... A refined way to light a building.

Light building

Christmas is funny in the South. Sometimes its not that pretty or picturesque lets say. The leaves on the trees are gone , its abit gray and its not going to snow probably. But the christmas lights are very crazy. Just shear determination to celebrate..........

Friday, December 18, 2009

Building new ideas

I stumbled upon this very nice idea via Design Observer. Yale design student Benjamin Critton has sent up a forum to examine consumption. Everyday for 100 days he is putting a object owned by him up for sale-the project is called Surplus. I own a lot of the things he wants to sell but I will watch avidly anyway.....

thank you

It looks like Little Building Cafe will be on the road alot in early spring. It has be chosen for presentations at the ACSA conference in New Orleans in March as well as the IDEC Conference in Atlanta. And perhaps some chairs will show up at a show at SCAD. We will keep you posted.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wall work

The work of Henrique Oliveira really brings forward the idea that material, material from the world in and of itself will make space. There may be a time when drywall and applied claddings will not be in favor. Something to look for in the architectural world-the art world has it happening....

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

building big

I guess I missed this last summer-a project by the Starn brothers-Big Bambu. A bamboo structure built over a year long period with no preconceived notion of its end. The building, un-building, re-building of material capabilties.....amazing.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Building for boys......

I have finally, almost, finished two commissioned pieces I have been working on all month. This is a chair for The Little Prince-by Antoine De Saint-Exupery. Colors were chosen accordingly.

Monday, December 14, 2009

natural building

One person I learned about while reading the Art Basil coverage is Julia Lohmann. I had of course seen her cow benches at MOMA and were not that interested but looking at her web site you see her process and her interest in materials. her work owes a lot to Eva Hesse and is akin visually to hot designer Neri Oxman. I find her authenticity, well authentic. Look up what this multiple study is from...but very beautiful.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Total building........

I have been trying to sort out how disappointed I have been with the images coming out of Dutch Design Week as well as Art Basil/Miami. I know I should not try to critique virtually but as a teacher I am trying to figure it out. So I was very pleased to see this project by Maarten Baas in the New York Times this weekend. He torched the paneling for the wine cellar/dining room- this is an exciting extension of the torch work...didn't know it could move forward. Great.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Tree Building

Well we finally did it. After years of being a "sustainable practice", driving a Prius and having the garbage men look at me with suspicion as he takes our ONE garbage bag; we made our own tree. Rational includes,"we are designers and we should design everything", "we are in NYC during the xmas week and its a waste"...but it is fun to start a new tradition in the middle of it all....oh and the blonde barbie angel is a tradition brought from Brooklyn. You mean Barbie Angels aren't common practice in the south?????

Thursday, December 10, 2009

floor making

My other inspiration treat was a new monograph about Patricia Urquiola, Spanish born-Milanese designer. Her book is very different from Hella Jongerius whose book is all process and Urquiola's is all glorious form! I really was taken with this rug project for Paola Lenti in 2005. I am really excited about both books and how I much I can learn from just looking at their work...happy holidays ME!

Building Christmas

Santa's workshop is in full swing here on Greensboro Street. Working on this commission and another little boy's chair. Its good to be in the studio making things again. This chair was my neighbor's grandmum's kitchen chair- I think it looks just right on the front porch.....

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Back to idea building.........

Back to ideas....I am not a shopper. I got myself this Hella Jongerius book recently to get me going for the next project. I am really impressed. The interview that accompanies the photos of working in her studio as well as exhibition examples is a wonderful jump start for thinking about teaching next term. On the subject of "non-design"; a trend I see in current student work,Jongerius contends,"Modesty in design, that's what its all about: not adding anything irrelevant."

Monday, December 7, 2009

Gift Building 12

So this is how bad a shopper I am. I would have one more gift to buy and I would buy this because its red and I was obviously only meant to but red and orange things.....see you probably should have waited for your present in July. But truthfully if someone gave me this I would be really happy.....Happy holidays and back to the world of design ideas tomorrow.

Gift Building 11

My very best friend Karen hand paints these very beautiful wooden tiles for her company appropriately called Wooden Tile. It occurred to me that starting with one tile you could give one a year and then the "gifted" would have this tremendous collection-I see a whole room in these pieces?????

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Gift Building 10

My family wants more of these. The Uniglo Heattech shirts. The word is they are not too hot when it gets hot in the afternoon in Mississippi and not too cool when we are in New York. More on the way then

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Gift Building 9

If you have a great friend who has been there for you for all your creative endeavors-this is the book to share with them. And yes, I am a little star struck because I meet the author Rachel Cohen last month at BAM. This book will answer all your questions about a friendship truly being about creative work.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Gift Building 8

I think I will make a drawing for Caleb and get a used copy of this book for him. Madeline and I read it for the mother /daughter book club and it made our heart soar. I learned so much about parenting and being in the world. I would like to share it with my other best friend.

Gift Building 7

I spied these at my FAVORITE store in New York, Pearl River on Broadway. The colorful version of the Japanese lunch box-time to start taking lunch.....

Gift Building 6

Another "for smart people gift" is the legendary literary magazine The Oxford American. Get the current music issue with the accompanying CD and go for a Low carbon road trip-so cool.

image by Mando Alvarez

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Gift Building 5

I like felt and I like slippers. Here is a quandary for you. Martha Stewart suggests that you make your own felt slippers by hand, but these minimal clogs from Toast are well-more chic. It's up to you.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Gift Building 4

I am going to give a few people subscriptions to A Public Space...our favorite Brooklyn based literary magazine. Unbeknownst to editor Brigid Hughes I read the poetry!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Gift Building 3

One gift giving mantra I have is Local Handmade,local handmade...... For me luckily that means the very chic work of Natalie Chanin and her company Alabama Chanin. I am giving beautiful handmade t-shirts to all my buddies who have helped me so much with my crazy work this year.