Mayhaps. . . . . . perhaps.
Why? Readers of the recent posts, both here and through other media, have been hearing about changes — an evolution. A progressive, positive development in the ongoing growth of DR•I.
First however, let's review the word, 'moment'. The most familiar definition is such as:
'I'll be with you in a moment'— an indefinitely short period of time. Along with other related usages of the word.
However, 'moment' also means, importance or consequence — as in, 'a decision of great moment.'
So, in the case today, perhaps the word 'great' may be left out - but, a decision of moment in our case carries the meaning, or suggestion, that something fundamental is changing - or is about to change.
Yes. . . . . .it's been in the works for a time, and now that time is nigh. And in keeping with the change,
our issues numbering will also change. This is Issue #5.0. It defines this fundamental shift in the way DR•I will flow from now on.
In the last issue we featured a product called CUBE — a digital colour scanner. Sortof magical 'tis.If you need to replicate, exactly, a colour one simply holds the CUBE up to the surface of the object, does a scan, and the device, along with the attendant software, produces the code for the colour. Output is available for most paint companies, or for Pantone. It's a real efficiency tool.
Three years ago, a Canadian company —NixSensors — brought to market this same product. Called the NIX Sensor it does exactly that (update: current version will also allow one to capture colour of a liquid).
Ar about the same time I was in the midst of the design of a really high-end kitchen in Montreal. The client had a very discerning taste — and many elements involved in the design were non-negotiable.
One such was the cabinetry colour. Client had a vision as to what they wanted it to be — he could explain it to me — he couldn't show it to me. Kinda leaves one 'dancing in the dark' in that situation. In any event,
design development was proceeding well — we all figured we'd pin down the colour 'one of these days.'
And one of those days occurred on a Sunday afternoon when the client called and announced, 'We found it! The exact colour we want!' When I queried 'where, what', he said, 'We found this antique salad bowl in a shop - of course we bought it. . . . .and that's the exact colour we want. So, what next?', he asked.
I said, 'Sit tight - I'm on my way — bringing my trusty scanner and we'll nail it down.'
Well, I did, and we did. As per the following.
The next steps involved sourcing the pigment to a paint producer who could provide that colour in the type of paint necessary for use in cabinetry applications. But, I was also able to do that. From the millwork manufacturer (Ebenisterie Nostra, Montréal) we obtained a finish sample — which we reviewed and approved.
The nature and style of this kitchen design was simplicity personified - very z e n , if I may be so presumptuous. But the following photographs certainly emphasize that point. For example - there is no visible hardware, no knobs, no pulls, no handles. The base cabinets, of a beautiful walnut, have continuous finger grooves from one end of the kitchen to the other. All upper cabinets are touch-latch doors. Also, there are no appliances, save for a small scale espresso machine, on the counter. Even the microwave is hidden away behind one of the upper cabinet doors.
The overall effect is utter simplicity — the blue colour is unique in a kitchen, but more importantly, it is exactly 'what the doctor ordered.'
So — I strongly suggest that all of you - architects, interior designers, graphic designers - invest in this amazing tool. You will not regret it. Following are some photographs of the kitchen.
Yeah It's c o l d ! Brrrr! But, also, it's cool - no?
There are SO many things I want to do when I win the SUPER lottery......this is but one of them.
I've written of this before - the fantasy is to buy (not rent) a super class expedition craft like this and set sail - 'round the world. Yes? Anybody wanna sign up for crew?
It would be kinda like having your very own, veddy b r i t i s h private club. No — there's nothing wrong with that — if'n you can afford it.
RAGNAR is not just a charter yacht. RAGNAR is a powerful portal into a world of adventure and excitement, an ice breaking vortex that transports the brave and the bold into a world of bears and orca, of midnight fire in the sky and glistening, untouched pistes of snow and ice. RAGNAR grants the willing the ability to fly with eagles, to dive with whales, to carve through the waves with the power of 800 horses and to race across snowy valleys at the twist of a wrist.
At the end of another day of living as few will ever live and seeing what few will ever see, RAGNAR's 12 guests will retire to two elevated B deck master suites, four main deck double suites, a twin suite for staff and an office that converts into another twin suite.
RAGNAR has Arctic explorer capability, the power to handle all weathers with full ice breaking functionality, 6,000nm range and zero speed stabilisers for peaceful nights. Guests will need at least a week to experience all of her toys, including an Airbus EC145 helicopter for heliskiing and a three-passenger submarine to explore the depths, both available by request.
Add to that the 8.9m Marell ice condition tender with 800hp engines and power
heating and two 7.5m Castoldi jet tenders, four jetskis,four snowmobiles,
four quadbikes and you understandthe unbreakable
spirit of adventure that flows through
RAGNAR and her guests.
So - here we have yet — just another house — in the hills — in the woods • • •
not too shabby.
But, as I have been doing more lately, I examine, closely, the design, the content — the design intent, in fact. . . . . .always asking myself, 'Was this successful? As a design — as a place to be - is it successful?'
And, 'Do I like it? What might be, should be, improved?'
Yes, I know - it's presumptuous to even suggest that I - or someone else - knows better. But — knowing better is not really the point. Knowing ALL the options - all the choices that make sense — THAT, is the point. As a design professional I have never been shy to tell a Client exactly what my thoughts, opinions are.
I did that one day, many years ago, with a high-powered President of an international oil/gas company . . .
He has asked me, 'So son - what would you do to make this place better maybe?' And I told him - lucidly, intelligently. He looked at me, kinda pissed off and then said, in a very peremptory, challenging tone,
'Oh! So THAT'S what you would do huh?'and he waited my response. I calmly looked at him, took a deep breath and replied, 'Well, Sir - that IS what you asked me.' He looked hard at me, slapped his thigh and said, 'You're damned right I did - and thank you for not chickening out on me!" We enjoyed a long-running professional and personal relationship from then on.
So - here goes - this, the Ledge House - is kinda cool. Perhaps to my mind a little overly brittle but it could be warmed up. But I have one objection. . . . . the black and the white, in general, albeit a very slick rhythm for a city dwelling, is somewhat misplaced in the beautiful woods. But, it CAN be made to be workable - except - except the damn chimney-pipe throws everything out of balance, IMHO.
So - read on - at the very end you will see one photograph taken as it was built. It is followed by the same photograph but wherein I 'removed' the chimney-pipe, via Photoshop. Who amongst you thinks it's an improvement or should it have been left well enough alone? And, oh - BTW - don't attempt to use the rationale that the chimney-pipe had to be there, in only that location......I'm not convinced of that. But even if 'there so, could it not be white?
Desai Chia Architecture : Ledge House
Text description provided by the architects. The Ledge House clients asked us to design a new home that would resonate with the history of the Connecticut Valley, include a material palette that is environmentally friendly, and works with the challenging site on a large rock ledge. We removed an existing cabin that had been expanded in unsuccessful ways over time by a previous owner; we were able to reuse the cabin’s foundation (which saved money and reduced construction waste) & add to it to simplify the footprint of the building while amplifying the program. The new footprint moved the house closer to an existing boulder- a prehistoric “glacial erratic” that was deposited along with the ledge hundreds of thousands of years ago when the glaciers formed the Appalachian Mountains.
The boulder is a rugged companion to the house and acts as a muse for the uphill forest views. The form of the house was inspired by indigenous barns of the area as well as the nearby, historic West Cornwall Covered Bridge. A clever structural system utilized balloon framing techniques— the beams, walls, sheathing, and a carefully calibrated nailing pattern allows the structure to perform as a unified diaphragm, eliminating the need for exposed cross bracing. The interior vaulted ceilings are open volumes of space accentuated by clean planar surfaces.
The living room, dining room, and kitchen form the nucleus of a large breezeway through the house; the breezeway was strategically positioned to take advantage of the views to the valley, the uphill cross-ventilating breezes, and an existing boulder that becomes a rugged companion to the house and the views of the landscape. The exterior of the house is clad in Shou Sugi Ban siding which offers a rot-resistant and bug-resistant finish that also articulates the iconic form of the building. The interior finishes are light and airy.
Et finalement : : les deux versions : :
So here's an odd looking house.
Wait a minute - do you think it's house? Kinda weird - the façade backed up against the cliff face like that
If it's a house it sure doesn't have much room in it - you think?
. . . and who are all those strange looking guys out front? They look like - firefighters. . . . . maybe there's
Ahhhh! Making a little more sense now - the façade is exactly just that - a façade — it backs up to the cliff face and tunnels like this lead off the front. But - why?
Margreid Fire Department
A cliff face is the setting for the new Magreid Fire Department station: three caves digged in the mountain are connected by a horizontal gallery. The first two caves are reserved for vehicles and machinery, whereas administration areas are located in the third one. a black concrete wall is placed with a one meter offset from the slanted mountain wall, replicating its geometry. the wall becomes a defining element of the project and works also as a shield against falling rocks. concrete was selected as the main material because of its durability, resistance and strength. The dark color recalls that of burnt wood and it was obtained with beech coal dust.
Client: Margreid an der Weinstraße Municipality
Location: Margreid an der Weinstraße,Italy
Time of completion : : 2010
Photography : : Günter Richard Wett, Jürgen Eheim, Ulrich Egger, Gustav Willeit
EulJiDaRag / Limtaehee Interior Design Studio
Text description provided by the architects.
EulJiDaRag is located in the middle of Seoul, which is famous for the Korean Industrial zone for several decades. Now many of the industries including industries of apparel, fabric, dyeing and finishing, machinery, parts, and accessories, have moved to a suburb area or far away from Seoul. However, we still can see many small factories remained in Seoul.
The meaning of time in these locations is one of the most important considerations in terms of design. The industrial area is shrinking in size, but it still is a historic place that has supported Seoul's industry. To reflect the history of these areas, we sought to minimize the possible deformations of existing buildings and preserve their historic imprints even from the old signs and graffiti. Another important concept was the meaning of the process.
Each step has its design and aesthetics. As a result of the completion, we hoped that the previous steps would blend in the space so visitors can see them in slow motion. To implement the above concepts concretely, we decided to create a space only with the materials including metals, acrylics, glass, mirrors, and profiles processed in the area where most factories were located. We created the details using fabrics, threads, and sewing machines that historically empowered the fashion industry. Especially the fabric, which is the raw material of fashion, was the most important source of inspiration because it was a space run by the fashion company, KOLON.
So - some of you may be wondering why I included this design example. For a couple of reasons -
one, I love the carefully calculated contrast, the contrast in mood and tactility that is found in this space.
Seems that is something that is not easily taught. Why not? Because it's impossible to quantify, right?
One can't simply say, 'Okay - take 8 yards of funkyWall/old plaster and combine it with 125 sq ft of aniline dyed leather - and then add a dozen really sharp LED lights.' It's not a recipe - or it's simply not
'recipe-able'. And yes - I know that's not really a word. But perhaps you understand what I'm saying.
Instinct, intuitiveness - a 'feel' for textures and tone - these are some of the 'invisibles' that form the chemistry in mood spaces. So - there's that.
Plus, we seem to see so very little in the way of design coming out of South Korea. What I have seen is usually innovative, unique and has its own kind of edge to it. Maybe being in such intense proximity to its neighbour promotes a different sense of what's important - even in things design.
And finally - and I've never done this before - but a few years ago I had a South Korean student - Minjee.
In her former life in Korea she had been a high school algebra teacher. In settling in Canada she turned to Interior Design as a new place to start a new life. And she is, and was, extremely talented - and one of the hardest working students I've ever encountered. So - I know not where she is now, except last I heard she had found a position with a design firm in Toronto. I wish her well - the very best — and in a way this inclusion is a little bit of an acknowledgement of her special attributes as a student of interior design.
Bet you all know the answer to this question : : "What is selling?"
Of course you do — you yourself are either constantly selling or being sold to - right?
Do you like it? Either way, do you like it? I suppose it depends on many factors - only natural.
But if you stop and think about the times you've been sold to - been the customer, the buyer — do you remember the best experiences you had at those times? I know you remember the worst - we all do.
But the best memories, I'm sure, are when the money has passed hands, you are in receipt of the goods, and you are excited both about your future experience with the whatever but also you're excited because you actually enjoyed the experience. I'm right, right?
Do you know there are generally considered to be three distinctive kinds of selling? Yes - there are.
And I'm gonna tell you -
Value Added selling.
And can you guess which one is the one you'll probably like the best? You're possibly wrong!
Why? Because the very best kind of selling experience to have is when all three are a part of the process.
Yes, of course - any one will do. Transactional selling is like when you pop into buy a newspaper.
Relationship selling is when you pop into by the newspaper but you have nice quick chat with
Mr Proprietor as he hands you the paper, makes change - makes small talk - asks how your kids are - right? And Value Added Selling is when he does all those things and offers you a morning coffee - gratis - at the same time.
And so you're wondering, 'What on earth is this guy going on about? Just give me my paper and let me get on my way!'
Okay - but when one has the 3-in-1 selling (buying) experience he remembers that - and he remembers that the salesperson went the extra distance to assist - to help out, to solve problems. And next time you'll go back to that same person or business in order to repeat the pleasant and rewarding experience.
And so it is with guys like Fred Black and Ronnie Usheroff. They have been the mainstays of TRAS Office Systems for 20+ years. And although I knew and worked with Fred way back then, it had been quite a while since I was undertaking any office furniture assignments. And when recently I realized I needed the help of someone I could trust, I called Fred. And although it's been many years it was as if there hadn't been - we picked up where we left off. Fred was insightful, experienced, wise and experienced, helpful and - did I say, experienced? He was all that — and I found exactly what I needed, and more importantly exactly what I wanted, with his help and guidance.
The whole crew at TRAS - from Fred and Ronnie to Lawrence Stein and Gajan Veermaraha - are all consummate professionals with over a 100 man-years of experience between them. And they know their products. See, TRAS may have started out selling used office furniture but the major manufacturers soon realized these guys were special - and they started being wooed to take on lines such as Global, Logiflex, Humanscale, Ambienti Moderne, Nightingale, GArdex, Lincora and others.
So - a word to the wise - a word to my architect and designer friends and colleagues - when you need the best service, the best k n o w l e d g e about product and performance, go see TRAS.....let them,
TRASforme you. You'll be all the better for it.
My bag of goodies is still overflowing - shame. Just so much great stuff. . . . . not enough hours, not enough space.
So - we're off on a new/improved track - hopefully. As noted this format will continue for the next while.
Most of your names/addresses have been removed from the substack mailer — those that haven't all begin to receive DR•I in it's sectional format - soon.
Again - please comment (you do that at the BEGINNING of the blog - okay?) and ask questions - or even scream and yell. It's all okay
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