2•7 July already?
Week 29. . . . . I'm all about symmetry.....maybe I should hold this post until next week - Week 30.....
Like the feel of that. And you know, it's the lazy, hazy days of summer that are slowing me down. And this summer, in Montréal, we are all trying to find ways to cope with the traffic/construction madness.....it is non-stop, diabolical, mad - crazy and unpredictable. And those are the good points. . . . . Also, for all of you non-quebecers, yesterday was the start of our annual pagan festival de constructivo......or maybe constructeviL........that wild, wacky, insensible, indefensible 2 week hiatus that the poor deprived construction workers insist be respected - when all construction projects shut down (well, most all - except those deemed to be important to the general public interest - like tearing up yet more roadways, streets, etc) .....moreover, all (most) related support professions 'get outta town' also -architects, designers, engineers - even those directly unrelated but who can spell construction - yeah, them too - they shut down, leaving town, seeya around.......kinda people. On the upside, since about 60% of the population does leave the city, driving is heavenly......so, a blog about design? Ya - like, whoCares?
Well I'll do my best to give y'all some distraction.
So - who here likes music? You all do? Cool - I love music.....wish that had been my life methinks.....self-taught on the guitar, I doodle about - but I am, constantly moved by really good, clever and intelligent composition. A week or so ago, I told my Google Home assistant to play Rod Stewart Great American Songbook.....all the selections there are great - he's such a master. But, once again, I heard 'You Go To My Head'.......and it stayed in my head for days.....resonance, kept repeating. And so I thought, 'Who wrote this? When?'. Asked Google and of course Wikipedia rolled in to save the day.....J Fred Coots.....that's who. Who? Sure - you never heard of him, right? Neither had I. And it's understood - 'cause JF wrote this classic in 1938 - EIGHTY years ago!
'You go to my head
And you linger like a haunting refrain
And I find you spinning round in my brain
Like the bubbles in a glass of champagne'
80 years ago......
And although it's been eight decades guess who some of the artists are that have offered up their own renditions of this piece?
Diana Krall - and, OH! But you MUST check this one out! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uiSMEwYPW0
Dimitris Tsaganos, an amazing artiste/photographer, put together this fabulous visual epic that fronts for Diana Krall.....checkit out! It is visually riveting!
'You go to my head
With a smile that
Makes my temperature rise
Like a summer
With a thousand Julys
You intoxicate my soul
With your eyes'
Nat King COle
and many, many other. . . . .
and, of course, Rod Stewart
And so you're asking yourself, 'Whatever has this to do with design?'
Well, maybe nothing at all. To me? Para mi? Texture. Life's texture. . . . . the texture of mood, of emotion in music. So inspiring. I dunno. . . . . late nights when I'm working my way through a design concept, an elusive construct that I really need to nail.....if I hit just the right piece of music, it's like the tumblers in a vault lock plopping into place......freeing, elevating, uplifting. And so, it comes back to this......I accidentally acquired a Google Home thingamajig last Christmas....it was a promotion to renew one of my online subscriptions.....NC - no charge. 'Cool', I thought, 'Was gonna do that anyway....bonus!'
And as I've made friends with my GoogleFriend, I've come to love it.....I placed it in the kitchen so when I'm preparing a salad, or pasta - whatever - I simple say, 'Hey Google...play Gato Barbieri Europa'.......and it just does! Not looking to sell Google product - Amazon has it's Echo - Apple now has it's version......sure they're all about the same. But it's M A G I C A L ! Command performances.....go ahead - try it.....I will say,'Hey Google - Play Stefan Grapelli with Django Reinhardt'. Instantly I then hear it.....to me, this is a superb example of design - not of a material thing per se......but design of an implement, a like-changing tool/bonus......of course these devices can do most anything....you all have heard that. Weather, stocks, playlists - flight information, It's not so important what they can do today - what is mesmerizingly fascinating is what might they deliver tomorrow? Along with self-driving cars.....there's a whole new class of designers out there - W I Z A R D S , as I call them! These magical industrial-programming visionaries.....who are delivering us a future that nobody - not Nabokov - not Gene Roddenberry - nor George Orwell, ever really envisioned. And, I like it! There's a new player in town......a whole bunch of them.....wizards....young folk teamed up with software engineer pioneers, to deliver to us a whole new paradigm of l i v i n g - and therefore, of life.
As c r e a t i v e s [a relatively newish term.....as opposed to creators] - we all live in, with and beside our imaginations. We learn how to do that, we are trained...we train/discipline ourselves, to tap into the root visions that infest our heads. Looking back to the era and days of da Vinci, or Brunelleschi...... they lived inside their restless, rambling imaginations. As a creative, one learns to come to grips with the management of fantasy - of creative compulsions. . . . . some better than others. And we find ways to convey the language of the art, the concept to those in whose employ we may be......in the world of the built environment the tools that have come to be available to us are far more robust than say the tools that the portrait artist could avail themselves of. For us, 3D modelling software has become the core of our conveyance of concept......SketchUp, Vray, Maxwell render, 3D MAX, Podium - they provide us a wheelhouse from which to drive concepts to close-upon-reality. And, as a longtime practitioner, I love it
And so it is that a number of weeks ago I became completely unhappy and frustrated with my home office. Comfortable it was - yes, no doubt.....but when we moved from a house to a condo there was a lot of casualties....furniture that just didn't fit....things/stuff that one just couldn't bear to part with. . . . . stuff! And it became a tail wagging a dog.....my workSpace, albeit functional, became an unhappy place. So it was that I decided to fix the problem. In doing so I conceived a plan (as creatives isn't that what we do?) - and the plan called for demolition/disposal. Get rid of all that didn't work....I made the ugly decision to dispose of about 150 design books in my library. Why? Because I just didn't hardly ever use them or refer to them.....some were treasures....my friends for 30+ years. Go! They had to go! I felt I had to strip myself to the bone to re-build....Many attempts and offers were made to various design schools to donate this valuable library. No takers. Lots of reasons.....no takers. So I proposed to one of my brightest, most passionate students, that I donate hem to her. It was by far the best solution.....'cause when she came to look at the collection, she was effervescent in her excitement of this trove.....and I helped her fill up her car with these treasures. But, that was only the beginning.....I had a plan.....but first, here is the layout I was going to change. . . . . the corner desk made it difficult to refer to drawings or binders/books on my left side - inefficient.....and the space always felt cramped. I felt like I was shoe-horned into a phone booth.
Of course, living in my head - messy place for sure.....I could see my vision. And by using SketchUp I created a 3D model of the optimum condition I was shooting for in my new + improved office. I need to say, also, that in my vision I was planning on creating a workspace whereby I could sit with a client, side by side - or with a colleague, or student. In fact part of my business plan for this year is to develop a tutoring facility. Fact is, I could actually work with two students at the same time.....it would be, cosy - but, productive. And of course the wall-mounted TV screen would be what I would broadcast videos and tutorials to.......so, here then, was the vision.
Of course, in a perfect world, one doesn't see all the wires, cables, connectors & clutter that tend to mess up a vignette......it's that darned reality stuff that makes a mess of things. And in this vision I conveniently ignored the fact that I had artwork I would most definitely want to retain.A double row of ultra streamlined bookshelves - is, s o o t h i n g, non? Well, tweren't to be, quite like that. The reality is:
I agree - the reality of the clutter is, the reality of a today office. Try as we might we'll never get our personal office space to look like a pristine Apple store. But, this works.....the other chair is simply not shown in order to provide a clear understanding of the overall space.
The final result varies somewhat from the imagined outcome - but that was in fact deliberate. I did not want to part with my artwork, my artifacts.....my antique box collection - so I found a way to comfortably compromise.
As creatives we deal in our imaginations. We live there - sometimes maybe only renting space, most times we are our own creative landlords. The other thing that is not shown is that I have two Canadian Tire black stained folding TV trays, $19.95 each. Because they are so flexible and take up almost no space when folded away, I use them as 'by the chair' reference tables. Multi-tasking is a skill that is learned - it is acquired through practise.....this environment provides me with all I need to multi-task. The laptop to the left, connected to a 27" screen, is a Lenovo PC dedicated to 2020 - which does not run on a MAC.....it also has AutoCAD 2018 installed on it both for my professional use and for tutoring purposes.
Result: serenity, ,most everything at arm's reach....a sense of being ín 'control of one's craft'. Upheaval, change - can be stressful, certainly - but if one sets their expectations realistically then one can attain them - and that too contributes a great feeling of satisfaction to the exercise.
And summer is often about road trips......well, here's a road trip that would take some effort to get to.....this stunning villa retreat in Sri Lanka is architecturally gorgeous! The environment is rich, lush, vibrant - overwhelming in it's explosion of colour, texture and mood.
There are no disagreements here, right? I mean it's only $400.00 CAD/night. . . . for 2 bedrooms....for 3 bedrooms it's $550.00 - for 4 it's 675.00 and for 5 it's $750.00. So - who wants to sign up to join us on this road trip?
This rate includes housekeeping and service from Jeyanthy, the housekeeper/cook. The whole retreat can accommodate 9 comfortably. There are 3 bedrooms in the main house, 2 double bedrooms and one single bedroom, all with attached bathrooms. Then a further two bedroom villas built into the side of the sloping terrain which add an extra dimension of privacy and peaceful relaxation and can accommodate 2 guests in each. An open mezzanine area can be used for yoga, and table tennis.
Guava House is family home which has been designed and built by the owner architect, to blend in and compliment the surrounding nature outside, the roof is thatched in “iluk” (a Sri Lankan reed) and the floors and walls are mango wood and teak.
There is a Wi Fi connection, however it is not unlimited. It is sufficient for sending emails and limited internet use. The Wi Fi connection throughout the country can be intermittent.
In this tropical rural area there are an array of wild insects, including mosquitoes, butterflies, beetles etc. Remember to bring mosquito repellent. However we provide mosquito nets on all the beds.
Any takers? Flights are not all that bad - Air Canada Montreal to Columbo, Sri Lanka....app $1100.00 per person return.....now THAT'S a great road trip.
D O O D L E S !
Do you doodle? DO you like to doodle? Do you draw stick figures or stars, cars - flowers?
Most doodle - most don't think their doodling has any merit, value....
Well now, if you're a serious doodler, maybe you should buy one of these - and go int the DOODLING
Whaddaya think? Check out the video
Scribit is a drawing robot that can turn your walls into a work of art. The little bot raised over $1.6 million on Kickstarter, crushing the company's $50,000 goal in just two hours. Scribit uses four erasable markers to draw images up to a 6.5 ft x 6.5 ft on your wall. Images are uploaded from a user's phone to the robot and automatically starts drawing. It's held to the wall with just two nails and guide wires that move it along the wall. The company says the $450 device is slated to ship by the end of the year.
So - keep on doodling......who knows - you might become the next Picasso!
And speaking of doodling......what about creative/productive doodling - brainstorming doodling - where you're sitting in a room with a dozen colleagues - or you're sitting in a room by yourself and eleven colleagues are spread across town, across the country - around the world.....how do you convey stream of consciousness ideas - inspirations - brainstorms? Not particularly easy. Until maybe now. Microsoft - remember them? They have been making great strides lately in amazing productivity tools......this is yet another one.....
Take a look....here is what their promo package has to say:Microsoft has finally launched its Whiteboard app for Windows 10 devices. It’s a free tool for collaborating on ideas with as many people as you like, and it’s not half bad.
Whiteboard (which has been available in preview since last December) is designed for use with a stylus, so it’ll automatically recognize when you’re trying to draw shapes and tables, and help you out with your doodles.
Of course, it works just fine with a mouse or your finger on a touchscreen too. You can draw, add sticky notes, import images, paste text, and pull in pictures from the web using the built-in Bing search tool. All these elements can be manipulated and moved around the board as you wish.
It’s also easy to invite people to collaborate from wherever they are in real-time by sending them a link. Of course, they’ll need a Microsoft or Office 365 account to dive in.
There are several other whiteboard apps out there, but with this, Microsoft can offer it to Office users, integrate it into its Teams group chat app (which is now available for free), and sync your data across devices when it later arrives on the web, iOS, and Android.
So while Whiteboard isn’t impressive enough on its own to convince you to switch from similar apps, it might be the easiest one for you to get into, if you’ve already bought into the Office ecosystem.
You can give it a go by installing the app for free from the Microsoft Store.
Pretty cool, huh?
But - what is it? Maybe it's a dental clinic....like in Arizona maybe....
Nope - not!
Here is what it is:
WOW! Awesome! Where? How? How much?
Situated on a 250-acre vineyard in the Maldonado region Uruguay, the Sacromonte Landscape Hotel is a modern retreat for wine lovers. The property consists of a winery, a farm-to-table restaurant, and 13 small cabins. Clad in a mirrored facade, the rectangular structures slyly disappear into the surrounding landscape, keeping the focus on the rustic scenery. The tops are covered with green roofs, making the exterior undetectable even from above. Internally, light oak panels and dark stone floors lay the groundwork for a minimalist pallet, allowing the views to take center stage from the floor-to-ceiling glazing. Each cabin has a private terrace, overlooking the rolling hills. The resort is expected to be complete in September 2018.
Photos: Leonardo Finotti / Sacromonte
So if Sri Lanka is not your cup of tea, maybe this will ring your bells......love the design - the vision - the vision realized!
'k - back to earth - back down to earth.....here's a cool product - I'll probably jump on this. The price is certainly right.....
44 Bucks! For any car....yeah - I know - it's $44.00 USD......still - a really good price.
So many car accidents each day are the result of poor visibility at night or in inclement weather. What’s crazy is that two simple purchases can help avoid fender benders in many of these cases. First, get yourself a pair of high-quality windshield wiper blades. We recommend Bosch ICON blades, which are worth their weight in gold. Next, if you don’t have a premium luxury car, it’ll only cost you $44 to upgrade to the same kind of headlights found in luxury cars. The CougarMotor LED Headlight Bulbs All-in-One Conversion Kit comes in all sizes to fit in all cars, and it takes a novice 20 minutes at most to install them. Seriously, these are going to be game-changers for you.
Here’s what you need to know from the product page:
Bruag - is an am innovator in decorative panels/screens.......
They bring a whole new approach to managed 'scapes'.......
Character for Stairwells
A banister can also be a highlight. While the interior rooms receive the greatest attention, the design of the stairwell is sometimes forgotten. But in spite of this, they are one of the first things we notice about a building. A Bruag banister allows you to reveal the identity of your house the very moment your guests step in. As with all our products, you have maximum flexibility at your disposal. Your bespoke banister is available in thousands of colours and an almost infinite variety of shapes. There is absolutely no requirement for the stairwell to be rectangular. The panels can therefore be made to match the design of your building with great precision.
An Easily-mounted, Customised Balustrade
While the perforated cladding panels produced by Bruag can be used to create totally individual stair railings, a few things still need to be borne in mind when it comes to mounting. While it is usually 30mm MDF panels that are used for banisters, it is possible to use elements that are only 19mm thick if the feature is to be more used as a curtain passing through several floors – which means it can be fixed at several points. 30mm banisters are usually sufficiently stable when screwed into the stair stringer. Depending on the application (e.g. a public building or private home), a post at the bottom and the top of the railing may provide additional stability.
If requested, we deliver not only the cladding panels, but also the respective polished aluminium T-sections. These provide additional stability and at the same time form a handrail.
Features and Benefits
- Totally individual forms (incl. perforations and ornaments) possible
- Big choice of colours
Download brochures and extra info about Bruag’s here
For more information about Bruag's Perforated Panels contact through the contact/quote button on top, visit Bruag's page in Materials, or visit www.bruag.ch.
We have shown you some far off, exotic places in this post. The worst part about the best part about actually being there is actually - getting there. Today's air tavel is just one massive headache......there is no j o y in air travel these days. I remember, when I was directing our aviation design firm, Transplan Design Consultants, that spending time at Trudeau International, doing on-site surveys, having meetings - was a heady experience. The smell of kerosene jet fuel was a 'charger' for me..... air travel, before 9/11 was a heady and exciting part of the journey. Now - not so much....in fact, now - not at all. Still, I love airports, airport design.....for a year leading up to 9/11 I was Senior Design Leader at Gresham, Smith Architects in Dallas. One of our projects was the complete design and expansion of Terminal B at Boston Logan Airport. On September 10, 2011 I made the master design presentation to the senior executives of American Airlines in our boardroom in Dallas. It was extremely well received......in fact, there was palpable excitement in the air as we wrapped up the afternoon with arrangements to re-convene the next morning at 8:00 for finalizations. In a sense, 8:00 AM the next morning, failed to arrive. 9/11 arrived instead. And air travel, security, levels of comfort in air travel all disappeared in the months and years following that tragedy. Of course, the project was cancelled......AA never recovered from that event. The once proud leader of US flight carriers was reduced to an empty shell within a year or so......
Following are a few of the presentation images prepared for that day:
One of the primary concerns of the AA executiveswas how to develop a design that reduced or eliminated corridor wall damage from luggage carts. My solution was simple, elegant - angle the walls to slope away from the traffic flow. Although it was never realized for the Boston Terminal I gave permission to les architectes JLP to copy/incorporate that same strategy in Trudeau Airport. Next time you arrive on an international flight at Trudeau you will move through the upper secure corridor from the plane to Customs/Immigration......you will notice that design is used there.
Well - I hadn't started out to take you on a tour of one of my past projects - just kinda tumbled out as part of the whole air travel conversation......what I did want to show you is this:
If/when Boeing ever gets this into production, this super sleek, hypersonic plane might whisk you from Montreal to Sri Lanka in about an hour. Designed to travel at Mach 5 (app 3,836 mph) you could circle the globe between breakfast and dinner with time to spare. Really....
Here is the official release regarding this project: (from dezeen : : by Rima Sabina Aouf - June 29, 2018)
Boeing has revealed a concept design for a hypersonic aircraft that could reach most locations in the world within one to three hours.
The American aerospace company showed a rendering of what the plane could look like at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics conference in Atlanta this week.
Boeing said the design was based on current research by company engineers, who are looking at passenger travel as one of many possible applications for the hypersonic technology they are developing.
Boeing estimates that something like this concept could be operational in 20 to 30 years' time, and would most likely be used for national security purposes first.
where do you sign up? Patience - some day - it will happen. Cool huh?
A great deal of the content in DRI as of late has been architectural projects. But usually architectural projects that are of a unique design - a new and/or experimental design. And so it is with this one:
The Japanese architectural firm of Kengo Kuma & Associates has developed what to me, is an ultra-cool
interpretation of a building's skin. Certainly the core structure is the expected glass/aluminum/metal curtain wall. But as a completely different twist, they added this amazing wooden lattice screen.
Check out their site at: Kengo Kuma & Associates
Name: Hekikai Shinkin Bank Misono
Location: Aichi, Japan
Size: 4,140.02 m2
All images © Hekikai Shinkin Bank Misono © Kawasumi/Kobayashi Kenji Photograph Office
If you've gotten this far in this issue you may well think you've stumbled on a travelogue site. . . . . Sri Lanka, Uruguay - jet travel . . . . . and now this:
Ain't she, jest, s e x y? So cool! 1961 edition, Holiday House Geographic Model X trailer.
So - howbout that road trip now? After all, it's summer - the open road is calling. This baby is only $250,000.00 (US).....like I said she's sure purty.
Written/posted by: John Mannheimer for Living magazine
In the 1950s and ’60s, the camper trailer – the house you could hitch onto your car and take out into the woods, for a wholesome weekend with the family – was an emblem of Americana. Though dwarfed in popularity by the iconic Airstream, the Holiday House Model X is a quintessential example of the American trailer craze. Though they have been out of production since ’62 (when the Holiday House Factory burned down), Flyte Camp has restored this 1961 Holiday House Geographic Model X to its former glory.
Built for “holidays” and camping trips, the Holiday house is among the rarest vintage trailers out there. The vintage trailer restoration team at Flyte Camp did a remarkable job on the Holiday House. The all aluminum and wood crafted trailer is painted a beautiful champagne and moss green two tone on the outside, and an interior with Black Walnut wall skin, cabinetry and black walnut hard wood flooring with bronze colored pin-stripping. With its chrome siding, louvered windows, and glossy glass-front bay, other campers will certainly look on with awe and envy as you drive by, towing a veritable time capsule. Thought to be 1 of just 7 built before the Holiday House’s demise, this extremely rare example is a beautiful and practical antique.
You might prefer this:
Complete with a hot tub and helipad on the roof.....and a price tag of a cool $2,000,000.00 USD
Yeah - Get Outta Town.......Get Lost! Away with you! Beat it! Take a hike! Or
Hit the road Jack
Bye! I'm outta here. . . . enjoy this hot, humid sticky summer.....seeya all next month
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