That's the plan, right? are we working on/with/towards resolutions? Pas moi.......at least not in any formal sense. Making resolutions (of the New Year's resolutions ilk) are mostly a distraction - you're either gonna do something, or you're not. Angsting about it changes nothing. Surprise yourself! You'll feel a whole lot better!
Okay! So here's some current thinking. The last blog issue spilled a lot of passionate conviction and opinion into a venue where it probably had no right to be - except, in that passion is/was the conviction that a light needed to be shone - however narrow its beam may have been. But, DRI is not the stage from which to shine it. So, what was said, was said. And I make no apologies for it. We have witnessed a month plus of agonizing unwarranted illegal hardships in the US. It is far from over. But in the future any voice I care to speak with will be restricted to a new forthcoming blog to be found at www.TheGeneralIdea.net.
I will advise when that is operational .
It's January 2019 - an d what is January synonymous with? CES of course. For those of you who do not know about it, CES is Consumer Electronics Show, held every year las Vegas. It is the industry showcase of all the upcoming, soon-to-be-coming, maybe coming electronic wizardry from TVs to computers, cel-phone technologies, sound systems, AR, VR and soup and nuts and lots of stuff in between. It's a wet dream for techno junkies. This year was little different from years past, generally. Personally I enjoy watching it from afar. It provides intelligent insights and realistic forecasts. For instance LG Electronics unveiled their new LG Signature roll-up TV. That's right, just like a roller shade it disappears into a box - it's just that box is at the base. It's pretty cool. It will be very expensive, initially. But CES is also the forum that provides all the competitors to LG, or any other manufacturer with a reality roadmap. And what is stupid expensive today will, in 3 years or 5 years become de rigour in terms of cost.
Take look at the video - it's pretty astonishing. And even at the speculative price of $8000.US, I actually have clients - quite a few - who could easily afford it.
The old saying, 'Now you see it, now you don't' has special meaning to this product.
Cool, right? At a rough guess it looks to be about 4' wide, by maybe 48"high and, hard to tell from this image, but maybe 36" wide.
Aha! A little more is revealed . . . . .
Well, lookee here - that's pretty neat- a compact working deskStation.
I think the dimensions I guessed at are probably pretty close. It's neat though, eh?
These photographs are the work of the outstanding photographer, who I am proud to call my friend, my colleague. Leonardo Bechini, Milan - is an artiste extraordinaire.. You should - you all should, look at his portfolio at www.leomore.net
This haunting shot was taken of the McGill campus in a winter much like this one. Look at the subtlety of the reddish/pink tone of the McGill banners.......
OMG! OMGx2! Where am I? It looks like a mad, crazed builder figured out how to Xerox completed houses and he plunked them down, like a virus, in this valley.
What IS it? Where IS it?
I think the only positive thing one might say about this is that the municipality wouldn't have to spend money on street signs - just give a sequential number to each house!
I don't know about any of you - actually, strike that - I do. I do NOT think any one of my readers would agree to live there even if they could buy a place for a dollar. There is no rational argument that can be made that excuses such a flagrant disregard for design, elegance - or normalcy. Sheesh!
Just plain and simple - a very cool chair
To many, or most of us, an unknown entity. Certainly the perception is, now, and for the last many years, that Taiwan is kind a 'phantom' state. Long respected as a highly sophisticated producer of technological innovations and manufacturing, Taiwan is - and always has been - a major thorn in the side of China. My question is, 'So what?' Taiwan is not going to go away, Taiwan is not going be absorbed by China - in 50 years, Taiwan will be exactly where it is now.....not gonna change.
However, Taiwan is an amazingly sophisticated nation - one that has pioneered technological innovation. One that has driven style, design and awareness thereto. So this feature should come as no surprise to those with any familiarity with Taiwan and its design values. This is a really good design example, running the gamut from classical traditionalism to industrial chic. Kudos! But, be your own judge.
As you will see, this house renovation, might be defined as schizophrenic.......
The following slideshow contains photographs of the principal living areas, predominantly attuned to a more traditional yet modern design
This photo array shows the top floor and space - with an industrial design signature.
and finally a section drawing of the building
. . . . and the garage.
it's just purty darned cool - and, I'll take the Porsche, thank you!
. . . .and while on the subject of photography, Adriana Garcia, whose work has also been featured here has submitted these recent pieces:
Some of the readership of this publication, are sailors - I know that. Some are friends/colleagues from my days at Royal Caribbean Cruises (Rita, Perla, Michael, Mayte) - and still very much engaged/consumed by the nautical world. Were things different in my career I would most likely be still immersed in that world. It's a special breed of designer who devotes their professional efforts to the design of ships, watercraft.
So, I have to say - here and now, when I win the lottery (a respectably big one), an early acquisition will be a ship such as this - what is referred to adventure expedition class ships - constructed to withstand ice floes, rough waters and able to circumnavigate the world, endlessly.
However, if I, for some bizarre reason, do not win that mega lottery, well I've decided that my next novel will be set on just such a craft......stay tuned, We'll take a journey together, soon.
VRIPACK : : their web-site
An explorer yacht like no other, M/Y ROCK is the SUV of the seas. Inspired by the durability of marble and Land Rover, yet softened by the warmth of a tactile interior, 24m ROCK, designed by Dutch studio Vripack, is built for comfortable adventure.
Launched - and sold to her current owner - at the 2018 Cannes Boat Show where she made her international debut, ROCK is defined by her voluminous open plan layout and uninterrupted sight lines; the yachting world's first pocket rocket.
Dutch studio Vripack's design philosophy is informed by a creative, holistic and collaborative approach. When paired with Turkish yard Evadne and project managers Tufan and Brothers, the result is robust and spacious; ROCK boasts 44 per cent more interior space and 49 per cent more exterior space than an average or similar-sized yacht.
Characterised by an enticing interior design, where textured fabrics and soft furnishings contrast with maple wood finishes and angular 3D shapes, ROCK truly serves as an inviting home from home. The owner intends on spending many weeks living on board, cruising the intimate ports of the Mediterranean.
Continuous connection to the sea
In addition to an interior that is akin to a contemporary loft apartment, ROCK possesses a high straight bow to intercept rough seas and a low aft for easy access to the water. This masterfully-designed continuous connection to the sea is a design detail that is carried throughout, explains Vripack designer, Robin de Vries.
"We added a lot of glass on board, with full height windows that deliver uninterrupted views wherever you are on board. The dining area features one of the largest glass panels found on board a 24m yacht, providing panoramic vistas, while in the owner's cabin a private terrace is complemented by a sweeping 180-degree view."
A rapid top speed
Featuring a Fast Displacement steel hull and aluminium superstructure, ROCK reaches a rapid top speed of 16 knots and a respectable cruising speed of 12 knots. Powered by two CAT C12 engines at 1000hp, she boasts a Transatlantic range of 3000 Nm.
. . . .another brick in the wall Listen to it then read on!
F O L O G R A M :
A team of three in Melbourne Australia have created a unique new tool for use in architecture and construction. Their software is designed to integrate with Rhino 3D. Watch the video to see how two bricklayers in Tasmania, built this amazingly complex curved brick wall in one day! It is an astonishing example of AR (augmented reality). Video here
Fologram is used globally by architects, engineers, designers, manufacturers, educators and creatives to easily begin working in augmented and mixed reality. At a basic level we allow users to visualise, interact and manipulate their models from Rhino 3D (a CAD and modeling program) on the Microsoft HoloLens (an augmented reality headset). Featuring multi headset support, users can collaborate with fellow colleagues in the same model. Our toolkit empowers our users to create their own customised interactions within the augmented reality environment, in effect easily and quickly innovating their own applications. Our clients have used this tool for a wide range of uses, such as: - Taught design studios and fabricated pavilions without any 2D documentation; - Overlaid digital information and guides onto analogue tools, increasing productivity and efficiency; - Visualised projects for clients and contractors in the real world in 3D, removing ambiguity that paper 2D plans commonly create; For various projects and uses of Fologram visit: https://vimeo.com/fologram. Further information can be found at www.fologram.com
Cameron Newnham leads our engineering teamCam is enthralled by the optimization of systems and fluid user experiences. Excited by seeing clients find new uses for technology.
Gwyllim Jahn is product, partner and design lead.
Gwyll is incrementally working to redefine the limits of design and construction. Passionate about helping clients realise incredible projects.
Nick van den Berg leads operations, clients and sales.
Nick is fascinated by how technology democratises knowledge and enhances skills. Loves building products that delight users around the world.
This tool - and others like it on the horizon - will dramatically change how construction carries forward - and how much easier it will be to undertake complex structures.
The following article is written by Devon Thursday, the Real Estate editor at U.S. News & World Report, where she writes consumer-focused articles about the homebuying and selling process, home improvement, tenant rights and the state of the housing market.
These are 4 out of the 9 in the article. Click on the link to read the article and attain access to the liveLinks for each tool listed.
As promised in our last issue, following is the second of three great articles submitted by Steven Hu : : Chaange Village Farmhouse Renovation Project, Daxing, Beijing, China
The project is situated in ChangGe Village, Daxing County, in Beijing’s southwestern suburb.
Subject of the renovation is a worn-out farm house built in the early 1970’s, with its original wood-brick
structure commonly seen in north China’s country side. Before the remodel, inside the dim and
shabby house (or a shack to be more exact), walls were dark, covered by more than 40
years of hard cooking smoke lamps, ash and soot. There was no water supply nor restroom – its
residents, a senior farm couple, needed to walk about 100m around the house to get to the
closest outhouse in the neighborhood. The long but narrow courtyard facing south functioned
as a pathway for the family’s only transport vehicle, a three-wheeler, which was inconveniently
parked in a dead end. Even worse, interior floor elevation of the house was almost 20 cm lower
than the courtyard, turning the house into a flooding pond whenever it rained, a safety threat
to the entire building structure. Ironically, the area was troubled by water shortage – water gets
cut off almost daily, sometimes during peak evening hours.
The following shows the Before plan and the Current plan.
The renovation project was one episode of BTV’s live television show series called “Our Warm
New Houses”. The show producer set up specific but stringent requirements on cost and
construction speed. Design and construction need to be completed in 45 days. All-inclusive
budget was capped at 300,000 RMB (about 45,000 USD), including labor and materials, on-site
work, site remodeling, interior construction, lights and fixtures, furniture and interior
decorations, even purchasing new home electronics.
To solve the core water issue, the design process thoroughly considered the
challenges of both water shortage and flood control. First, they elevated the interior floor,
adjusted exterior courtyard ground level and installed new sewers and gutter systems. In addition,
a new water tank with a capacity over 2-cubic-meters was built at one end of the courtyard, to
harvest and recycle rain water collected from the rooftops. In the evenings when water gets
occasionally cut off, collected rain water could be used as a supplementary water source for
toilet flushing or to satisfy other essential needs, for up to a year. At the same time, with water
drainage now in place, the building structure stands strong even in pouring rain.
Mucho gracias Steven! Wonderful effort, great job! The original article was published by: EVOLUTIONDESIGN from www.gooood.cn. Our mandarin version can be viewed on our mandarin page.
All libraries should be designed this way, with this feature - except there should be two per bookcase.
Clap if you agree!
So - end of another issue. . . . almost. In keeping with my promise/threat, to include in each issue, one of my past projects, this month it is a very special place. My client, Bruce, for whom I had already designed 3 residences prior to this project, bought this spectacular estate in Hudson Quebec, 33 years ago. Situated on 30 acres of land it is far set back from the roadway behind iron gates with large carved stone lions. Cannot be seen from the road. When he bought it there were two families living there. The grandparents occupied one half of the house, their children and the grandchildren, the other half.
This marvellous edifice was designed by Edward Maxwell, famous Montreal architect. It was built in 1916 for Dr. Lafleur whose family lived there for the next 55 years.
There were many challenges involved in this undertaking - the two families had created two back to back kitchens on one side of the house. The second floor, consisted of only 4 bedrooms, each, when Bruce acquired it, with en suite bathrooms - in extremely poor and outdated condition. The Master Bedroom was immense - situated directly above the Living Room it ran the full depth of the house - approximately 50 feet in length by 30 feet in with. It also had an adjacent east-facing sunroom.
This project was a labour of love - for myself and my client. Although his principal residence is in Barbados, and has been for 20+ years (which I also designed) he has a special place in his heart for this, Forest Manor, and makes a point of visiting Montreal 3 -4 times a year to enjoy the majesty of this fine home. In the 33 years since I finished the project (which incidentally had to be complete within a crippling timeframe - I had promised completion and delivery in time for the Christmas celebration extravaganza!) - only a very few things have been changed or modified. Certain upholstery fabrics needed replacement as wear factors take their toll. Some wallpapers were changed. In 2011 we removed all the marble kitchen counters and replaced them with granite. Other incidental changes/improvements were carried out also.
My role in this project was 'man of many hats'- I developed all design, construction details and drawings...supervised all the restoration work (we had a fabulous swiss wood craftsman, Fritz, working for 6 months steady, hand stripping all the oak panelling in the Great Hall and single-handedly re-staining, burnishing, and finishing all of it. If you look closely at the framed panelling you will see how the centre of each panel is the lightest tone and it becomes progressively darker and richer in tone the closer it gets to the actual panel frame. Electrical work was a nightmare......all walls were original lath and plaster - fishing wiring through such walls was outrageously difficult - but we managed to do it. The result is evidenced in all the recessed halogen spots scattered throughout. Our contractor extraordinaire, was Jemlor Construction, under the sure hand and guidance of Amir Anders, provided peerless expertise and management throughout the entire undertaking.
The Powder Room did not exist - there was no bathroom on the main floor. Where the Powder Room is is was an exit corridor running from the Great Hall to the rear terrace. That corridor doubled as a floral prep space. All doors and frames are original. In designing the Powder Room the placement of the sink was critical given that there was no 'wiggle room' between the edge of the door when it was half open and the edge of where the sink had to be located. There is ⅛" clearance! And that has held steady, with no problems, over 33 years.
My other responsibility aside from general design and planning was as interior decorator. I selected, recommended - searched and found, all persian carpets, wallpapers, upholstered furniture pieces, dining room furniture (the Chippendale dining chairs, although not original, are magnificent reproductions which we acquired at auction). I designed and had the dining table custom made by Patella Industries, one of the finest millwork companies ever. The satinwood banding on the table top is as good as any Sheraton museum quality table.
In the Master Bathroom, the sink vanity legs are turned solid brass - they are virtual replicas of the mahogany columns found in the fireplace in the Master Bedroom. We carefully de-constructed a column and had the brass legs custom-tooled to be used as the vanity legs!
It was a wonderful experience. Although I was at the same time, managing my design firm of a staff of 12 , this was the project that really touched my heart. As I recall I had 2 or 3 designers on this team, full-time through completion.
And now, it is, for sale. Sotheby is the listing agent and the video you will see here was commissioned by them. It really tells the tale most effectively as to the wonderful seclusion and serenity in this estate - and yet it is a mere 25 minute drive from Fairview Pointe Claire.
I hope you enjoy this journey. When it sells, as it will eventually ($4,395,000.00) it will be a sad end to a most wonderful experience in both my professional, and personal life, as Bruce and I have remained good friends over the last 40 years.
View from rear
Note the gradated tonal change in the wood panelling.
I have many other project photos in my files....these are the highlights. This property has been featured in many movies, TV shows (CBC 'Scoop') and the subject of numerous magazine articles.
I think you'll agree - this is a s p e c i a l p l a c e.
As a professional interior designer (45+ years) and as a Certified Graphic Designer (25 years) I have devoted my life to the pursuit of design excellence. Winner of numerous design awards I have also spent 25+ years teaching Interior Design.....the greatest quote regarding design is: the greatest faux pas in design is irrelevance