i n d e e d !
and so, the time has come - five years on - time enough to move on.
This will be the last issue of DesignReview•International
Sustainability is a popular catch-phrase. It seems to apply to many things - frankly, IMHO, it is vastly over used/abused.
From Wikipedia I find this about the most sensible definition:
Fact is, here are some facts.....as the following graphic illustrates....the sad truth, or, the harsh reality. Nobody - or hardly anybody, reads DR•I. Out of a mail-out of 250+ over the course of the last 4 weeks, 44% opened the email upon receipt, and of those, only 11% actually clicked the contained link to read the last issue. That's like, what? 27 ½ people? Wonder who the half is. . . . .
It baffles and befuddles me - truly. I mean, in this over saturated cesspool of the internet, where one's browsing is constantly suffering from a barrage of non-stop ads, animations, etc, one might think that a publication like DesignReview•International, which has never had an ad - ever, would be more widely welcomed.
So - clearly, that is in itself, not the impediment to a wider readership. Rather it must be - can only be - that the content is not of interest. Well, to a few - to the
27 ½ that took the time, showed the interest, to actually read it.
And so, why continue? I mean, it costs money - for sure it costs money. Think about it - monthly hosting fees (USD), statistical analyses and reports, the language translator (in itself, 20 bucks a month) - numerous other costs/charges. Which the subscription rate does not even come close to covering. And then, there is, my time - my efforts. Not just the research, but the writing. Not just the research but the careful and constant graphic image editing that is necessary.
Not just the research but the energy sapping devotion to creating the very best reporting possible.
• • • • and so, yes, the time has come. Following the content in this issue there will be some final notes, some instructions regarding subscription plan refunds, etc.
. . . and what, pray tell, do we have here?
Generally the formShapes are pretty much recognizable - a mini Cooper, a Jaguar XKE, a Mercedes gullwing - but there is something decidedly different about each one.
Yikes! Are they all drowning? Or about to? Curiouser and curiouser . . . . .
This, be a clue - it do be. . . . . boat(s), floating vehicles on water......yes Victoria,
How c o o l is that? Think about it - one only has to find a vehicle whose engine no longer is operational - which would surely make it a cheaper buy. And then - and then, this:
Although the models shown above are all on pontoons, there is the option of a hydrofoil configuration. Neat-OH!
In the automotive world, a resto-mod is a classic car that has been restored, but modified with modern parts and technology.
Aesthetically, the vehicle looks the same until you look under the hood, because owners will upgrade the engines on a classic car so as to enhance performance and increase fuel efficiency.
Regardless of what features are changed or added, the ultimate goal is to modify the classic car without significantly altering its outward appearance.
Floating Motors envisions a new concept of boating, for the first time bringing into the water the shapes of the most legendary cars of the automotive history, inventing a new water mobility trend which we like to call “Resto-Floating”. Similarly to resto-mod, we strictly respect the original car model proportions and sizes, applying the most modern nautical techniques for the floating hull (catamaran, conventional or foil), and delivering an exceptional quality concerning construction materials and applied technology, for the longest durability into harsh conditions.
Yeah....right! Moshe Sadie - one of the greats - keeps on being great.
By Josh Niland Aug 14, '21 9:00 AM EST
Safdie Architects has an update on three ongoing projects it says are direct ties to the lineage of founder Moshe Safdie’s seminal work that opened
54 years ago in Montreal.
New buildings in Ecuador and Sri Lanka are nearing completion, and a new development is about to break ground on the next phase of a contemporary version of the Habitat in Qinhuangdao, China.
The three projects together represent “the realization of more than 50 years of study on how to improve urban living.” Each development is marked with the same stepped profile, privacy, and garden terrace design taken from the original Habitat. The sum total is a reflection of the eye-opening realizations about urban life the 83-year-old Safdie says were brought on by the pandemic.
Per the architect: “Over the past year, there has been a rediscovery of the interdependence between nature and society. We have seen an outcry for our basic human needs to be met — access to daylight, outdoor space, connection to nature, and the ritual of public life at all scales. After a year in relative isolation from one another, and the urban habitat at-large, the ideals of Habitat ’67 have become ever more relevant as we reimagine the urban landscape.”
The Altair Residences in Colombo, Sri Lanka for example, are designed for a tropical environment and feature column-less interior layouts meant to maximize freedom of movement and light balance inside the 400-unit building. The inclined, Beira Lake-adjacent two tower blocks topped out as the nation’s highest residential structure and will offer over 600,000 square feet of public space in addition to the residential units.
The Qorner Tower in Ecuador features a similar look albeit with double-height terraces in a smaller, single-tower envelope fronting Quito’s La Carolina Park. The project will top out in September with an opening set for early next year.
The firm has also begun work on the second phase of Habitat Qinhuangdao, which opened in 2017. Added garden space and two new 30-story residential blocks will double the size of the site’s littoral footprint with another pair of towers and retail complex still being planned. Phase II is expected for completion in 2024.
The trio offers statements on the legacy of Safdie's idealistic vision. Looking back 50 years to prove the efficacy of the lifestyle improvements created by the architecture, something design partner Jaron Lubin feels has plenty of leftover for future projects.
“Moshe has held steadfast with his thesis for over 50 years, that designing to improve our quality of life must be a priority for the profession,” he said. “We are now seeing many of the ideas, once held as mere utopian dreams, becoming a reality. Habitat’s legacy has so much more potential yet to explore.”
Ed note: Just to put this all into perspective, this is where it all began in 1967 - pre CAD, computer tools etc. H A B I T AT
Samsung’s home appliance showcase at the virtual CES 2021 event focuses on many technologies designed to make lives easier for its user. If we were to sum up the highlights of its CES keynote, there were stylish refrigerators, smarter appliances with better ecosystem integration, and a few robots. Maybe we are closer to The Jetsons kind of life.
First, we have the company’s line of Bespoke refrigerators, which it launched in Korea in 2019. Samsung is bringing this flagship refrigerator series to the US with different types of modules—1-Door, Bottom Mount Freezer, and 4-Door—allowing for modular configurations that can grow to fit each household’s unique needs. These come in various colors and finishes to customize your kitchen and match it to your interiors.
Samsung claims it’s been a “game-changer” for the brand as it drove two-thirds of refrigerator sales in its home country.
The 4-Door Flex model, with its flat-panel design and recessed handles, is the latest model of the Bespoke line. It comes in eight unique colors and glass or steel finishes, including Grey Glass, Sky Blue Glass, Navy Steel, Champagne Steel, Matte Black Steel, Navy Glass, White Glass, and Rose Pink Glass.
The 4-Door Flex model has the new Beverage Center accessible inside the upper-left door. It provides quick access to drink in two ways: through an internal, filtered water dispenser and a built-in AutoFill water pitcher, which you can add flavor to if you want. It also has a Dual Ice Maker that makes regular ice cubes and small “ice bites” meant to chill drinks faster.
The improved Flex Zone allows you to turn compartments from fridge to freezer temperatures, depending on your needs. There are five different temperature settings: Freeze, Soft Freeze, Meat/Fish, the new Fruits/Veggies, and Beverage. There is also a Flex Crisper that stores meat or fish at the optimal temperature and Crisper+ that keeps your fruit and vegetables fresher for longer.
Samsung is also looking to add customizable elements for its other appliances, including air purifiers and its clothing care device, AirDresser. We’re going to keep our eyes peeled for those.
Samsung is bringing this popular Family Hub feature to the SmartThings app. SmartThings Cooking recommends recipes that fit your tastes, dietary restrictions, and what you have on hand, and then it will build weekly meal plans to match.
When you’re cooking, it sends recipe instructions directly to synced Samsung cooking devices. Family Hub can order groceries, and the Front Control Slide-in Range can automatically preheat, while SmartThings Cooking guides you through every step of meal prep. All of these are accessible through the SmartThings app on your Family Hub or your smartphone.
You can even browse the categorized recipe collections to match your craving, ingredient, or mood. But from the coverage we’ve seen, SmartThings Cooking won’t let you add recipes you already have. We hope Samsung will offer this option in the future. In the US, they can enjoy convenient one-stop grocery shopping through Walmart, Kroger, Instacart, and Amazon Fresh, using the Whisk network.
SmartThings Cooking lays out the recipe to guide you through the simplified cooking process. You learn about timing and have the steps explained to you like you’re at an at-home cooking class. You can also manage meal prep with one-touch control over cooking modes, temperatures, and time settings. Plus, you can monitor the entire process at a single glance.
SmartThings Cooking is powered by Whisk, a smart food platform acquired by Samsung NEXT. Whisk’s Food AI brings together user preferences, intent, and environmental factors to deliver personalized cooking experiences.
While SmartThings Cooking is a standalone service accessible via the SmartThings app, Family Hub owners can also enjoy meal planning conveniently from their fridge. It has a full-screen dedicated board optimized for SmartThings Cooking, which works with Family Hub to understand what’s inside the refrigerator and add missing ingredients directly to your online grocery cart for at-home delivery.
: From the Cambridge Dictionary :
The Holy Grail : : something that is extremely difficult to find or get
The, or, a, Holy Grail in building design, in architecture, has been to design structure with, as it is known, 'column-free' space.
In other words, no intermediate load-bearing walls or supporting columns. Think of a basketball court, or an arena.Bit in almost all private homes, the architect and engineer need to carefully consider where the load-bearing supports are going to be. Even in the most elaborate and costly condos - sumpin's gotta hold it all up.
And so look more closely at the photograph above - it is, column-free space. And it is truly liberating, both visually and psychologically. One open and clear landscape - nothing to impede views. column-free space. And this house, has it!
The massive beams (would that they were smaller even. . . ) support the whole of the structure.
5 BEAMS HOUSE
Situated on a hillside on the coast of Chile, the 5 Beams House bridges the gap between the land and sea. The concrete dwelling is nestled in the contours of the terrain and features five beams held up by walls to the east and west. These supports create a connection from the hill to the sea while offering privacy from neighboring houses. Internally, private spaces are semi-submerged into the site on the lower level and capped with a wall of sea-facing glazing. Public areas are located on the upper level and wrapped entirely in glazing for full views of the landscape. Sliding doors expand the rooms onto a terrace where a pool and lounge area overlook the incoming waves.
Photos: Sergio Pirrone /
Ed note: This IMHO, is a perfect example of determined design. What, is determined design? Simply, as I see it, it is the relentless pursuit of a design expression that unflinchingly, with no compromises, seeks to, produce a solution/resolution to otherwise taken-for-granted compromises of a lesser voice.
Kudos to the firm and the principals who travelled this path!
Maybe I'm cranky - just cranky . Maybe I'm jaded - it happens. But although I admire and applaud the ingenuity that has gone into this product I have grown, oh-so-weary of solutions looking for problems - and this is what - IMHO - this is.
Is it wonderful? As a design statement - as a realized figment of the festered mind of a truly creative designer? Yup! 'Tis - 'tis wonderful.
Is it dumb? Yup - 'tis - just dumb.......but, lovely dumb. At 90" x 144" it is smaller than the smallest second bedroom in the smallest ever apartment - somewhere.
Does it solve a problem? Not that I can see.
Is it an indulgence - most certainly.......most definitely.
One cannot get a cost of this 'miracle' unless one registers, signs up and goes through the process of a marketing follow-up call. Sorry - life is too short - but you guys can.
But, let me guess - guess at the cost - I'm gonna say $12,000.00 - delivery and setup additional.
But hey - you got the bucks - you got the space - you got nuttin' better to do with $12K - go for it.......let me know if you is in a sweat after about an hour isolated and cooped up - even if it's in the midst of wonderful redwood trees - let me know....how you feel. Or has the heat made you groggy and sleepy? Yes, yes, I know - it claims to have built-in HVAC - sure - sure it does.
DENIZEN ARCHITYPE OFFICE POD
Denizen Architype is reimagining the work from home environment with its smartpods. The prefab office allows remote workers to get away from the distractions and amp up productivity with a private workspace immersed in nature. Made with 3D printing, the arched volume features a 90-square-foot interior with 10-foot ceilings and warm wood paneling. Equipped with every workday essential, the micro cabin includes a desk surrounded by privacy glass, a whiteboard for brainstorming, a 27-inch 4K display, a 4K webcam to conduct meetings, and a bench with a mini-ridge to relax during breaks, as well as heating, cooling, and air filtration.
C'mon guys - get real. Seriously.
Marc Benioff thinks remote work is here to stay — and that workers are just as successful working from home as they are in offices.
The Salesforce CEO appeared CNBC's "Mad Money" with Jim Cramer to discuss a noticeable change he has seen in office culture during the coronavirus pandemic.
"[Employees] can do their job at home. They can be successful from anywhere," Benioff told the news outlet. "The companies and our customers are successful. It's incredible, but the way they're being successful has completely changed."
The cloud-based software company, which powers services like
, did better with remote work conditions than other companies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Benioff's comments came as Salesforce stock rose following higher-than-expected second quarter earnings.
The remarks are also counter to the thinking of some of Benioff's CEO counterparts, like Apple's Tim Cook and JP Morgan's Jamie Dimon. Both are requiring their employees make full returns to the office despite workers' desires and continuing concerns of the coronavirus Delta variant.
"The phenomenon that I see happening globally is not as many employees are coming back into their offices locally as any CEO expected," Benioff told Cramer in the interview. "You're really starting see some very low attendance numbers in offices because employees are so productive at home."
Many full-time, office-based workers got a taste of remote work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and their biggest desire as workplaces begin to reopen is increased flexibility. A survey from PwC saw an increase in remote workers never wanting to go back to the office, from 29% in January 2021 to 41% in August. Two-thirds of Americans are even considering looking for new jobs where they can have more a flexible work-life balance and less in-person office interaction.
Tech companies like Salesforce and Google, which can adapt more easily to remote work conditions, have been largely supportive of their employees continuing office-home hybrid models and opportunities for employees to request to work from different locations.
To disappear to a remote house off grid requires both technology and tenacity. First there’s energy use and battery storage to consider, adequate rainwater collection and, of course, bushfire planning and design. For practice director, Simon Anderson, eight acres of native bushland in the Blue Mountains proved an irresistible temptation for research and development. Testing a skillful combination of passive and environmentally sustainable design methods on his own 8-star bush block house has helped Simon to minimise his family’s energy. Importantly, the project also served as a significant early prototype for the practice’s mounting expertise in off grid house design.
To capture views of the escarpments to the south, the open plan kitchen, living and dining zone would need to turn its back on the sun. Not an ideal launch pad for passive solar performance. But a site’s chief problem should always be the source of its key innovation. The solution for Off Grid Cabin was to split the house into two steeply pitched skillion-roofed boxes, oriented in opposite directions, and performing in entirely different ways.
The sun-lit box would serve as the sleeping quarters, maximising comfort at night via optimal passive thermal performance during the day. The escarpment-facing box would have little of this solar benefit, but this was happily traded for an ideal roof surface on which a 6.7KW solar system could be installed for power generation. Double glazing, under-floor heating and high levels of insulation mean a small wood fire provides more than enough additional heat here through the cooler months, with firewood sourced exclusively from the site.
Inspiration for the design of the living area was found in the escarpments with their grey weathered outer faces and luminescent sandstone undercrofts. Glass doors slide away on two faces of this room, creating a similarly cave-like cantilever and blurring the indoor/outdoor boundary with the sunlit deck beyond.
Of course there are other practicalities to consider in the bush. With timber heavily prone to termite attack, and bushfire planning essential, we opted for a fireproof concrete house that would be resistant to insect attack as well. Low-carbon fibre cement board cladding and decking gives the added appearance of timber with the durability of a high bushfire attack BAL 40 & BAL FZ house design performance. Keen to trial additional weather protection measures, we designed an experimental 2.4m external metal screen here. This acts as a wall that can be winched away out of sight, is deployed as heavy rain protection, or could be lowered completely as a BAL FZ (flame zone) barrier in the event of a fire. Motorised screens add further fire protection on other windows. Conversely, when it rains, both roofs feed water tanks with a capacity for 30,000L. These regularly overflow but future plans for further tanks under the deck will help cater for stretches of drought.
. . . . and, to use a much over-used phrase, 'That's a wrap'
It is - as in done, finitio, terminado.
There is, however, a plan. Firstly, any of you who truly had the faith and subscribed you now have two choices - hang in there and enjoy a lifetime membership to however I may continue and/or resuscitate DR•I - or its possible successor,
Design Preview International - or I will issue you a pro-rated refund - your call.
But you need to know, my energies are now turning to the development of a podcast - yes - a DR•I podcast. Haven't made final decisions yet - mostly as to frequency - but, stay tuned.
Furthermore, I know you all don't know, but in 2010-2011 I had an earlier designBlog - DesignPlanOnline. It was a weekly effort - also with no advertising. If you are at all interested it is still mostly available in the Wordpress archives:
That was Issue #1. You can advance through the following issues.
I thank you all for your continuing interest - I thank some of you for the honest enthusiasm....be healthy, be well - God bless
Michael Moore M.A.
(DGC, ASID, APDIQ, IDC, RGD)
BTW - DR•I is now also on the open market inviting prospective purchasers should there be any interest.
Oh! One final word - I have been developing and producing a multi-week lecture series for McGill University (MCLL - McGill Community for Lifelong Learning) on the life and works of Edward and WS Maxwell. Here is the web-site I designed as the introduction to the lectures :: www.EdwardMaxwellArchitect.com
à bientôt : : or, see you soon
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
• Note Regarding Archives •
Weebly provides an archive header by month - such as March 2021 . . . . when you select a month, you will be able to access all issues posted in that month - there is no way, thus far, to provide the reader with archival access via Issue number - were working on it.